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Aadhaar Controversy: Petitioners Say Indian Subcontinent is Reduced to “Concentration Camp”

July 8, 2017 | By

New Delhi/Chandigarh: The litigation over Indian state’s decision to impose “Aadhaar”, a controversial move to record variety of personal data of all Citizens, took a dramatic turn in the Supreme Court of India when the petitioners alleged that the Indian subcontinent was reduced to ‘concentration camp’.

The Central government, however, took strong exception to petitioners in Aadhaar case describing India as a “concentration camp”, leading to a spat between Attorney General KK Venugopal and senior counsel Shyam Divan in the Supreme Court.

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As the hearing was about to end after a three-judge Bench suggested to the petitioners and the government to approach Chief Justice of India JS Khehar to set up a Constitution Bench at the earliest, Venugopal said, “I have strong objection to the petitioners describing India as a concentration camp. How can they say India is a concentration camp?”

“I reiterate it,” said Divan. “When citizens have been reduced to numbers and tags, what else it is, if not a totalitarian regime?” he shot back.

As Venugopal said such language should not be used, the Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said it could intervene only if someone used unparliamentary language. “It is unparliamentary language,” the Attorney General said and went on to add that a senior advocate should avoid using such language.

Earlier, Divan gave a background of the controversy surrounding Aadhaar scheme and explained the status of various petitions and interim applications on the matter to the Bench, which advised him to request the CJI to constitute a Constitution Bench to take up the matter.

Justice Chelameswar assured him that if a Constitution Bench was not set up, the three-judge Bench would take up all applications seeking interim orders on Aadhaar.

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