Aadhaar authentication failures can hurt those who need it: Supreme Court
10 May 2018
The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that Aadhar authentication failures could pose problems for those in need, for which a solution was required, PTI reported.
Justice DY Chandrachud, one of the five judges on the Constitution bench hearing pleas against Aadhaar, provided how his own mother, an Alzheimer's patient, faced difficulty in authenticating her details to get the pension due to her as the wife of former Chief Justice of India, YY Chandrachud.
“She had to give a thumb impression for authentication,” Justice Chandrachud recalled. “I recall, every month the bank manager or his representative would come home and affix her thumbprint on certain documents and only then could she get the pension. So it is a serious issue. It is not charity... we have to find answers for these problems.”
He said there was a class of people in needy who may not get the benefits due to authentication failures.
The Constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar programme and its enabling law.
Raising privacy issues, the petitioners have also questioned the need for making the 12-digit Aadhar identity number mandatory for people to avail of welfare schemes, file income tax returns, and hold mobile numbers and bank accounts.
The Constitution bench hearing the Aadhar case also comprises Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan also gave the example of a 90-year-old woman who was suffering from various ailments and had been told that her bank account could be closed for non-authentication of Aadhaar. She needed her bank account to get pension, he said.
“There are numerous cases where the Aadhaar authentication failures of the elderly or people suffering from any disease or physical disability, leads to denial of benefits to those otherwise entitled to it,” Divan said.