SC rejects plea seeking mandatory linking of social media accounts with Aadhaar


The Supreme Court has rejected a fresh public interest litigation (PIL) seeking mandatory linking of Aadhaar with social media accounts.

The top court asked the petitioner to approach the Madras High Court, which has been already hearing a similar plea.

While the matter is of an important nature, everything cannot come before the Supreme Court, the Bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant said dismissing the petition.

The Bench is also hearing a petition filed by Facebook to transfer cases being heard in the High Courts of Madras, Bombay and Madhya Pradesh to the SC in matters related to social media accountability and Aadhaar linkage.

Social networking firm’s lawyer Kapil Sibal said that the traceability issue was a policy issue. Therefore, it couldn’t be decided by a High Court as the order may lead to changes in the product globally.

The case is essential for the messaging platform as it is sought to change the platform features.

On September 13, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to lay down a timeline to frame guidelines on linking social media accounts to Aadhaar.

The next hearing is scheduled to take place on October 22.

The Madras High Court has been hearing several petitions relating to social media misuse.

In July 2018, a separate petition, in this regard, was filed by Antony Clement Rubin and Janani Krishnamurthy in the Madras High Court.

The petition sought a special order against WhatsApp to declare the linking of Aadhaar or any authorised identity proof as mandatory for authentication while obtaining a user account.

They argued, in their petition, that this will help in tracing miscreants or originators of fake messages and videos.

Meanwhile, on the subject, the apex court has already stated its stance last September. It had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhar Act, prohibiting private firms from asking for Aadhaar.

In its earlier judgements, the Madras High Court had also categorically denied any scope for linking Aadhaar to social media accounts. Though, it expanded the scope of the petitions for social media to help in investigations.

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