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Why Not Say 'Sorry' To Private Entities While Sharing Personal Info, SC Asks On Aadhaar Dispute

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| January 19 , 2018 , 17:58 IST

During a hearing on the Aadhaar issue in the Supreme Court on Thursday, senior advocate Shyam Divan made an argument that the State government cannot force a citizen to share his personal information with a private entity.

Reacting to the argument, the Supreme Court stated that, "You want an insurance policy, you go to a private company. You want mobile connection, you go to private entities and part with personal information."

"Here the government has multiplied the options.. the moment the government asks you to give proof of address and other details, you have a problem and you say 'sorry'," the bench said.

To this, Divan responded, "There is no problem per se with an individual parting with private information on his own. The point here is that you are being asked to part with information to someone you do not know and have no contractual relation with."

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the government's flagship Aadhaar programme and its enabling Act of 2016.

However, the bench had asked whether the state "cannot say that it has every right to find out the number of schools, children or the real beneficiaries of a welfare scheme and verify the real beneficiaries of huge funds which it is spending, it needs Aadhaar number. This is a valid argument."