Aadhaar validity will check graft, leakage of public money: BJP MP

Bengaluru: Validation of the Aadhaar Act by the Supreme Court would check corruption, eliminate middlemen and prevent leakage of public money used for direct transfer benefit, said BJP MP from Karnataka and a petitioner, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, on Wednesday.

“The judgement will ensure that corruption and leakage in the use of public money will be put to an end in the system,” said Chandrasekhar, a Rajya Sabha member, in a statement.

Earlier in the day, a 5-member constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, upheld the validity of the Aadhaar Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services Act, 2016, with modifications.

“The verdict addresses the main concern of citizens and corrects the imbalance in the Act vis-A-vis UIDAI, which will evolve into a transparent accountable institution of the state,” said the city-based Chandrasekhar.

The state-run Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory body set up in 2009 by the former UPA government under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to issue the 12-digit unique number for the resident citizens of the country.

Asserting that the verdict had reaffirmed the steps of the NDA government to transform Aadhaar into a corruption-free subsidy delivery platform, the petitioner said lakhs of its beneficiaries would not have to be at the mercy of middle men for getting their due.

“The BJP-led government has built safeguards to prevent abuse of the Act by integrating Aadhaar with the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana’s Direct Benefit Transfer architecture,” said Chandrasekhar.

Crediting BJP’s former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for conceiving Aadhaar as the National ID card in 2002, the lawmaker said the bench had struck down parts of the Act and suggested amendments to meet the concerns of the petitioners.

“Ban on metadata storage, minimum data and only 6 months of data storage strengthen the citizens right to privacy,” added the lawmaker.

The majority judgement has also stated that it is the government’s and UIDAI’s obligation to ensure illegal immigrants don’t get an Aadhaar card and pose a national security risk.

“The stage is set for discussion and debate in Parliament for the passage of the data protection bill, the recommendations of the Justice Srikrishna Commission and the telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India,” Chandrasekhar added.

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