Aadhaar-Social Media Linkage: SC Transfers To Itself All Cases Pending In High Courts

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for govt says,'No intermediary can say that in guise of privacy, terrorist activities can be protected'.

Aadhaar-Social Media Linkage: SC Transfers To Itself All Pending Cases In High Courts
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 22 Oct 2019 01:45 PM
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday transferred to itself all the cases pending before different High Courts relating to interlinking of Aadhaar database with social media profiles.

The Centre told the apex court that government isn’t there invading the privacy of citizens but privacy has to be balanced with national interest and sovereignty.


Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for govt says,'No intermediary can say that in guise of privacy, terrorist activities can be protected'.

A bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, while allowing the transfer petition of Facebook, asked the registry to place all connected matters before the chief justice of India for listing before an appropriate bench in last week of January 2020.

The top court also asked the Centre to submit its report in January on the notification of rules by which social media misuse can be checked and liability could be fastened on intermediaries to decrypt messages.

The bench's order came after Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for Tamil Nadu, dropped his opposition to Facebook's plea seeking transfer of all cases pending in different high courts to the apex court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, clarified that its is not a ploy to breach the privacy of individuals but it is an attempt to protect national security and sovereignty.

Mehta rubbished the claim of some petitioners, who alleged that the draft rule under consideration of the government, which would enable authorities to fasten liability on intermediaries to trace the originator of a particular message or a content, is government's ploy to "trample individual's privacy".

A public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court on September 30, seeking to link social media sites including Twitter and Facebook with Aadhaar to weed out duplicate and fake accounts and control fake news.

The plea was filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who sought direction to the Central government to take the necessary steps to deactivate duplicate, fake and ghost social media accounts in order to control fake news and paid news.

On October 14, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain the petition. A bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta, however, allowed the petitioner, Ashwini Upadhyay, to approach the concerned High Court.

(additional inputs from agencies)

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