Lauding the Supreme Court's judgment on the Aadhar on Wednesday, Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that the technology which enables complete transparency is a tool to empower the poor, while attacking the Congress on this matter, claiming their version of Aadhar was 'Niradhaar'.
The senior BJP leader, while accepting that it was Congress who came up with the idea, stated that their version had far too many flaws. In an exclusive to Republic TV, he said, "Yes I concede they started Aadhar, but their Aadhar was 'Niradhaar'. There was no legal backing. We have come with a robust law with due regard to privacy and delivery which the Supreme Court has upheld today.
"The supporters of Aadhar with the previous government, who with their Harvard English used to reply questions on Aadhar in the parliament, after going in opposition, criticize Aadhar inside the parliament and also used to oppose Aadhar as chairman of Standing Committee. That was the hypocrisy and duplicity of many Congress leaders. Today they are saying, 'Our Aadhar has won'."
He further went onto laud the decision of SC to accept Aadhar as a mean to uplift the poor. "Firstly, Aadhar is dignity to the poor. Their voice is strengthened. Aadhar is the fine balance between privacy and dignity of a poor for their welfare services. Secondly, Aadhar does not snoop, or has any kind of surveillance. Thirdly, Aadhar eminates from constitutional trust. And finally, Aadhar promotes good governance. Today, 122 crores Indians out of 130 crores are in Aadhar. We have saved Rs 90,000 crore of the welfare measure from middleman, by directly transferring to the bank account of the poor through Aadhar and Jan Dhan account," he added.
The five-judge bench of SC had upheld the Aadhar act, though, added that linking of Aadhar with SIM, bank account and schools admissions is not mandatory. But Ravi Shankar Prasad believes the government will surely try to come up with a proper measure to bring them in Aadhar, stating, "SC has upheld linking of PAN card with Aadhar. SC has upheld linking of Income tax record with Aadhar. In order to prevent money laundering and clean transparent economic system.
"Today, 96 crore bank accounts of 61 crore bank holders have been linked with Aadhar. Is it forced? No. The banks requested and we informed the SC also. Regarding the SIM card authentication of mobile companies, close to 80 crore have been linked. Why every SIM card needs to be authenticated? The four-page form, the photograph. Crores of papers were being accessed."