While the Supreme Court is slated to resume hearing pleas against Aadhaar on Thursday, there seems to be no end to politics around the issue. The issue has now been taken up by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, the Gandhi scion posted a comparison of the Aadhaar scheme during UPA regime, and the one under the NDA.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted that while Aadhaar under UPA government was “a voluntary instrument to empower citizens”, the one under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA is “a compulsory weapon to disempower citizens”.
UPA's Aadhaar = A voluntary instrument to empower citizens.
NDA's Aadhaar = A compulsory weapon to disempower citizens.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) January 17, 2018
The latest attack by the Congress president comes even as the issue of linking Aadhaar to essential services like banks, mobile and government scheme has been taken up by the top court.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra is listening to several petitions challenging the validity of the 12-digit identification number. Other judges on the case are Justices AM Khanwilkar, Adarsh Kumar Sikri, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.
During the hearing that began on Wednesday, the apex court was told that linking Aadhaar to all services could cause “death of citizens’ civil rights”.
Notably, the developments come days after reports said that Aadhaar database details were available for mere Rs 500, raising questions on the security of the system. And to counter such threats, the Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) announced the launch of 'Virtual' Aadhaar, which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.
The government is seeking to convince the Supreme Court about Aadhaar's utility. Aadhaar faces challenges on the privacy front with some critics concerned about access to the information of individuals.
UIDAI has set in place a 'biometric lock' as an additional layer of protection against outside intrusions or breach.
UIDAI has also announced face- recognition based authentication for Aadhaar users for an additional layer of protection against outside intrusions or breach. The new authentication method will be launched by July 1, 2018.