1.1.1 - Justice KS Puttaswamy is a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court.
1.1.2 - He challenged the Aadhaar Programme for infringing upon rights guaranteed by the Constitution:
1.1.3 - Between 2012-2018, 11 interveners approached the Court challenging various provisions of the Aadhaar Act.
1.2.1 - In the 21st Century, no other hearings lasted longer than the Aadhaar hearings, which saw 38 days of oral arguments. The longest hearings before the Supreme Court occured in Kesavananda Bharati, 1973, where the Supreme Court established the basic structure doctrine. The hearings lasted 68 days.
1.2.2 - The Court did not allocate time to present oral arguments to each counsel evenly. It is unclear what method the Court used for assigning time to counsels. While some counsels were allocated several days to present arguments, others were given a morning.
1.3.1 - A 4:1 majority upheld the Aadhaar Act as constitutional. It held that the Act does not create a surveillance State and, further, that it has the potential to empower the marginalised by facilitating the disbursal of State subsidies and benefits. Justice Sikri authored the majority opinion on behalf of now ret'd Chief Justice Misra, Justice Khanwilkar and himself. Justice Bhushan concurred and Justice Chandrachud dissented.
1.3.2 - The Court struck down the following provisions of the Aadhaar Act:
1.4.2 - The Committee recommended amendments to the Aadhaar Act. No such amendments have been passed.
1.4.3 - In May 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. India has no equivalent statute or regulatory framework. The GDPR has set the global standard for data protection laws. It has forced various tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, to alter their data collection and processing practices.
1.5.1 - Jean Dreze criticises the judgment for treating the poor and the privileged differently.
1.5.2 - In her two-part series, Malavika Prasad analyses the judgment, arguing that it lacks “consistency in logic and reasoning”:
1.5.3 - Amba Kak argues that the Srikrishna Committee’s draft Data Protection Bill does not do enough to hold the government accountable.
In their book “Aadhaar Effect”, NS Ramnath and Charles Assisi trace how a series of “bureaucrats, technologists, activists” conceptualized and implemented the Aadhaar programme as state welfare programme.
By contrast, Reetika Khera argues that Aadhaar is less about welfare and more about surveillance and data-mining, in her book “Dissent on Aadhaar: Big Data Meets Big Brother”.
Alan Gelb and Anna Diofasi study how identification systems can accelerate development, in their book “Identification Revolution: Can Digitial ID be Harnessed for Development?”.
On the other hand, David Barnard-Wills analyses how identity is linked to surveillance in his book “Surveillance and Identity: Discourse, Subjectivity and the State”.