Driving Licences Will Soon Be Linked With Aadhaar, Supreme Court Told

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Driving Licences Will Soon Be Linked With Aadhaar, Supreme Court Told

Linking driving licences with Aadhaar will weed out fake licenses, a committee said.

New Delhi:  After linking welfare programmes and financial services to Aadhaar, the Centre is in the process of adding driving licences to the mix, the Supreme Court was told today. The aim, a court-appointed committee said, was to weed out fake licenses and a software is being prepared that will connect licenses issued in all states on real-time.

A report filed in the top court - where another bench is taking a call on a bunch of petitions challenging the validity of 12-digit Unique Identification number -- said the National Informatics Centre is preparing the software, which is called "Sarthi-4".

"This software will cover all the states on real time basis and it will not be possible for anyone to get duplicate or fake licence anywhere in the country," said the report from the committee on road safety, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice KS Radhakrishnan.

The hearing of the Aadhaar petitions, meanwhile, ran into rough weather today as advocate Kapil Sibal, who was representing Bengal, got into an argument with two judges who are part of the five-judge bench that is hearing the case.  

When Justice Ashok Bhushan said, "There is nothing wrong in one nation-one identity programme through Aadhaar," Mr Sibal asked, "Do you mean to say there is nothing wrong in 'one nation one identity' or 'one nation one religion'?"

Another judge on the bench, Justice AK Sikri, warned the former Union minister not to enter into political argument. "I will prove it is a legal argument and not a political one," Mr Sibal responded.

The senior advocate then pointed out that the lack of Aadhaar does not make one a terrorist. When Justice Sikri pointed out that under the laws to prevent money laundering, it is presumed that one is guilty if he can't prove his identity, Mr Sibal countered saying Indians should have other forms identity.

He said giving "blanket power" to the state is "dangerous. "In this digital world, you are making me vulnerable to hacking of data. It is inappropriate for the state to insist on Aadhaar every day, whether it is for train or air travel".

The hearing will continue tomorrow.

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