With the Supreme Court refusing to come into the way of the central government's call for making Aadhar mandatory and stay the order, the common Indian citizens have been left defenceless to protect their privacy.
On Tuesday, June 27, the apex court refused to pass an interim order against the Centre's notification to make Aadhar mandatory for availing various welfare schemes. It was the second time the Supreme Court did the Centre a favour this month with regard to Aadhar.
On June 10, it upheld the Centre's decision to link Aadhar with the permanent account number (PAN) for filing income-tax returns although it said that not doing so would not lead to any retrospective criminal consequences.
The top court's stance makes it an easy run for the Centre and raises the level of anxiety for those who believe that linking the Aadhar with PAN will expose their financial details and make things immensely risky. Is India going the way of a police state in the name of better governance and welfare?
According to Aadhar's founding team led by Nandan Nilekani, it doesn't really retain any information apart from the logs of authentication. Nilekani has also said that those who wish to steal somebody's information will think about decoding his/her Aadhar as the last option. He had also suggested former prime minister Manmohan Singh the need to have a data protection and privacy law, something which many believe can actually guard us from leakage of information. Blaming the Aadhar is not the right thing to do, they feel.
But having spoken in favour of Aadhar, it is also important to keep in mind how former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Aadhar details got leaked and the government's ability to protect the private details of a citizen was questioned. The celebrity's case would still be taken care of but what about the faceless common man? Where will he/she go if his /her privacy gets compromised?
In India, the general trend is to react to a situation. If the idea of joining Aadhar with PAN misfires, the government and court will be seen taking their respective stances on the matter. But for those who will become exposed, it might be an irreparable damage.