The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that failures in authentication using Aadhaar could create problems for those in need, and a solution was needed to address the issue, PTI reported. Justice DY Chandrachud, one of the five judges on the Constitution bench hearing pleas against Aadhaar, agreed and gave the example of how his mother faced difficulty in authenticating her details to get pension.
“She had to give a thumb impression for authentication,” Chandrachud said. “I recall, every month the bank manager or his representative would come home and affix her thumbprint on certain documents and only then could she get the pension. So it is a serious issue. It is not charity...we have to find answers for these problems.”
Chandrachud is the son of former Chief Justice of India YV Chandrachud. His mother was an Alzheimer’s patient.
He said there was a class of needy people who may not get the benefits due to authentication failures.
The Constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar programme and its enabling law. The petitioners have raised privacy concerns and have also questioned why the identity number has been made mandatory for people to avail of welfare schemes, file income tax returns, and hold mobile numbers and bank accounts.
The bench also comprises Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan also gave the example of a 90-year-old woman who was suffering from various ailments and had been told that her bank account could be closed for non-authentication with Aadhaar. She needed her bank account to get pension, he said.
“There are numerous cases where the Aadhaar authentication failures of the elderly or people suffering from any disease or physical disability, leads to denial of benefits to those otherwise entitled to it,” Divan said.
The hearing will continue on Thursday.