SC to consider Facebook's Aadhaar plea on August 20

SC to consider Facebook's Aadhaar plea on August 20

Company wants transfer of petitions on linking Aadhaar to individual profile to SC

The Supreme Court on Monday deferred hearing on a plea by American online social media and networking company, Facebook to transfer four different petitions -- for making Aadhaar authentication with individual profile mandatory-- pending in high courts across the country, to the top court.

A bench of Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose put the Facebook's plea for consideration on Tuesday as the court wanted to go through additional materials placed before it.

The Tamil Nadu has decided to oppose the transfer as the matter pending before the high court had reached the advanced stage. The state had earlier faced law and order problem several times. A girl had committed suicide after her face was posted on a nude photograph and Facebook allegedly delayed giving information on the culprit.

In its plea, Facebook, for its part, contended that two petitions filed in Madras High Court and one each in Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Court contained the same prayer and seek same relief to "link Aadhaar information to social media accounts which would potentially allow for attribution of content to the person who posted such content".

"Transfer would serve the interest of justice by avoiding the possibility of conflicting decisions from four common cases. Indeed avoiding conflicting decisions is particularly necessary here to ensure that users are afforded equal privacy protection across the country and to prevent an infeasible situation where the petitioner which operates uniform platform throughout India, is ordered to link Aadhaar information only for users in certain Indian states but not others," it said.

The questions involved in the matter related to interpretation of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, it pointed out.