The writing was on the wall since long. And the Supreme Court’s judgement on June 09, 2017 only confirms that.
The Court has for the moment seemingly given a reprieve to persons not holding the Aadhar Card. They can go ahead and file their IT returns without the need to link/quote their Aadhar Card. But simultaneously, and more importantly, the Court has also validated the Government’s insertion of additional clause in Income Tax (IT) Act necessitating linking/quoting of Aadhar while filing tax returns. And if the Government’s claims are to be taken seriously, there are over 1 billion people out there holding these card. Make that 1 billion “proud” people. The others, it would seem are not so proud. That means that these 1 billion “proud” people will now have to link their cards to the PANs while filing IT returns. For the “not so proud”, “bakre ki amma kab tak khair manayegi…” 😛
All this of course is strictly as per the Supreme Court’s Judgement. The Government always has an option of flouting it and insisting compliance from the “not so proud” people too.
Further, the Court has shown utmost concern for privacy of us citizens and directed the Government to beef up Aadhar related data security to win the confidence of citizens. In a country where the PMO office itself can choose to spam its citizens with unsolicited emails to IDs which arent even registered with any of Government bodies, the lesser said about the Aadhar agents, the better. Probably that just means Mr Nilekani and his agencies will get to earn a few bucks extra in the name of protecting our data.
Funny thing is nobody seems to be bothered about where the money collected as tax, is going. Wonder if the Government can also introduce a “Sudhaar Card” for monitoring how public money is squandered by our politicians and public servants.
With the Government surreptitiously fast-tracking the Aadhar revisions to the IT Act and the Supreme Court delaying its verdict on Aadhar related petitions, between the two of them they have ensured that Aadhar will now be de facto mandatory even if it is not mandated de jure by the Supreme Court’s division Bench on privacy infringement. Remember, the Attorney General has decreed that citizens don’t live in vacuum and don’t have absolute right over their bodies. And that the State can always roger you long as it is in the interests of “national security“. And national security, as we all know encompasses everything including whether you eat beef or khakra. So even if one agency (which I suspect will be EPFO) deems Aadhar mandatory in the interest of “National security”, the “not so proud” herd, or whatever little is left of it, wont have any option but to fall in line.
Supreme Court’s Division Bench hearing on privacy infringement, if and when it happens, is but a matter only of academic interest what with most citizens already having thrown in the towel. Meanwhile, the Cows are a happy with this ruling. A lot of things have been going their way lately. They might even get full fledged citizenship and passports soon 😛 As for the handful of remaining Aadhar protestors, it appears to be all over bar the shouting !