The mere possibility of misuse cannot be a ground for
striking down the Aadhaar Act, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud orally observed
during a Constitution Bench hearing on the validity of the unique identity
“There has been a long list of judgments holding that a mere
possibility of misuse will not lead to the striking down of legislation.
We have a little bit of a problem with that line of your
argument,” Justice Chandrachud, a member of the five-judge Bench led by
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, told the Aadhaar petitioners.
To this, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said misuse has ceased
to be a “possibility.”
“Misuse is happening. Misuse exists. Personal data is
already out in the public domain. Once a genie is out of the bottle, it
cannot be put back... So, if there is a consistent line of judgments, treat
Aadhaar as an exception,” Mr. Sibal, who opened his submissions for
petitioners Raghav Tankha and former IAS officer M.G. Devasahayam,
Justice A.K. Sikri, on the Bench, at one point, observed
that if the government wanted information about a person it could access it
even without the help of Aadhaar. “No, you cannot.
The government needs a court order,” Mr. Sibal reacted.
Justice Sikri responded that “surely there were other ways...”
“On that, less said the better,” Mr. Sibal answered.
Noting that information is power in the digital world, Mr.
Sibal said the “Right to Information Act of 2005 made the citizen more
powerful, but the Aadhaar Act wants to make the state more powerful.”