Unless SC stays it, Aadhaar law will prevail: Ravi Shankar Prasad

If a parliament enacts a law and unless the court stays the operation of the law, this law will hold the field, says minister

GN Bureau | April 10, 2017


#Aadhaar   #Ravi Shankar Prasad   #parliament   #law   #supreme court  


 Law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that the interim orders of the supreme court on Aadhaar delivered in 2015 are meant for an "interim arrangement" and "it is not a judgement". 

Responding to the questions in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said: "Some of our congress friends want to paint Aadhaar as the biggest tragedy of the country, and I disagree with them.” 
 
He said that when the SC gave orders -- and the dates are August 11, 2015 and October 15, 2015 –“pervading a set of subsidies to be given directly, there was no Aadhaar law then. At that point in time the biggest argument in time in the court was that there is no statutory backing and you were taking biometrics of crore of people. And yes Jairam Ramesh you were wrong then. By executive order you can’t take so many biometrics. We needed a statutory enactment.” 
 
He added that the second argument was privacy. “Because there is no executive order, there was no mechanism available. Now Sir, day in and day out I am asked a question in both houses why are you exceeding the judiciary….We are law making body. We are a sovereign body. We govern the country. We should seek accountability. Here is a case where parliament has done a robust law Aadhaar and it is completely robust. Legally speaking the law is well settled. That the parliament can remove the lacunae which the court points out. 
 
The minister went on to say that the Aadhaar Act carried forward the whole architecture, “how whole biometric shall be done under what conditions, under what accountability. And whole architecture is available, it’s not the ecosystem, Jairam Ramesh”. 
 
“If that is there, there is a law, there is no stay from the SC and we are being governed by the mandate of an Aadhaar Act, 2016, passed by the parliament. I stand by the sovereignty of the parliament for law making. Now whole of Aadhaar ecosystem is governed by law. 
 
“And my understanding of law is very clear. That an interim order is only for the purpose of interim arrangement, till the parliament steps in. It is not a judgement. It has been referred to nine bench or seven bench. May be this law also be reconsidered. But I am clear that if a parliament enacts a law and unless the court stays the operation of the law, this law will hold the field.”
 

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