Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Tussle between Tripura HC, Government over law secretary continues

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Agartala: The conflict between the Tripura High Court and the government over removal of Law Secretary Data Mohan Jamatia from his post continues with the law minister shooting off a fresh letter to Chief Justice Deepak Gupta. Indian-Government

The state government had expressed its inability to relieve Jamatia of his responsibilities. A contempt of court case against Jamatia is pending in the Supreme Court.

A high court notification, issued on July 14, transferred Jamatia and posted him as a district and sessions judge of Unakoti district.

The court also asked him to take over the new assignment on August 3 and asked Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh to choose a new law secretary.

Last week, Law Minister Tapan Chakraborty, in a letter to Chief Justice Gupta, expressed the state government’s inability to relieve Jamatia as law secretary as he is looking after various pending cases in the Supreme Court and upcoming elections to local bodies.

The fresh letter came after the high court on July 23 turned down the law minister’s plea and stick to its decision.

Minister Chakraborty said: “Yesterday (Thursday), I have sent another letter to the chief justice to retain Jamatia in his post at least for another six months.”

Chakraborty, however, refused to divulge the contents of the letter.

An official with the law department, on the condition of anonymity, told IANS: “The minister told the chief justice that Jamatia has been looking after the state government’s appeal to the Supreme Court against the high court’s dismissal of 10,323 government teachers by an order on May 7 last year.”

“Besides, the law secretary’s service is urgently required by the state government in smoothly conducting elections to various urban local bodies, including Agartala Municipal Corporation, in December and elections to 527 village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in March next year,” the official said quoting the letter.

A division bench of the high court in April wanted contempt of court charges to be framed against Jamatia for making a derogatory remark about the judiciary in an official note to Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

Jamatia, who denied making any derogatory remarks against the high court, filed a petition before the Supreme Court against the high court decision.

The official said the law minister also raised questions over the appointment of Unakoti District Session Judge Gautam Debnath as officer on special duty (OSD) in the high court.

“The high court may appoint OSD but the post has to be created by the state government before any posting is made, as otherwise financial and other complications will arise in future,” the law minister said in his letter.

(IANS)

Next Story

Aadhaar Data Breach Report Incorrect: High Court

Citing the top court's judgement, the petitioner said that when the state violates the constitutional rights of a citizen, courts may award compensation

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Aadhaar Card Logo. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that reports regarding security breach of data related to Aadhaar is incorrect and misleading as the strongest encryption technology has been used to store data which is impossible to decrypt.

“The technology used is 2048-bit encryption, which is the strongest one and it is impossible to decrypt and extract any information even if enrolment packets were accessible during transit to the UIDAI data centre,” UIDAI told a bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Prateek Jalan.

The bench was hearing a plea seeking exemplary damages for the losses caused due to leakage of Aadhaar data.

The plea was filed by Shamnad Basheer alleging that the dissemination of personal information of Aadhaar holders made it clear that the government is responsible for any breach of right to informational privacy.

E-Aadhaar card.

In an affidavit, the government agecy said that Aadhaar data is fully secured at all times and for further strengthening of security and privacy of data, security audits are conducted on regular basis, and all possible steps are taken to make the data safer and protected.

It further added that there are multiple layers of security at physical level in UIDAI data centres and is being managed by armed Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel round-the-clock.

“The technical architecture of Aadhaar has been structured in such a way, so as to ensure clear data verification, authentication and de-duplication, while ensuring a high level of privacy and information security,” the UIDAI said.

“UIDAI has taken all necessary safeguards, starting from providing standardised software that encrypts the entire data even before saving it to any disk; protecting data using tamper-proofing; identifying every operator in all and every enrolment; and identifying every one of the thousands of machines using an unique registration process, which ensures every encrypted data is tracked,” read the reply copy filed by the UIDAI.

Countering Basheer’s claim, the agency also said that the petitioner is trying to re-agitate the same issues which have attained finality before the Supreme Court and therefore the present petition deserves to be dismissed with costs.

Aadhaar Card. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

It said that the petition is based on a mere assumption that the general public is likely to be aggrieved.

“In the entire petition, there is not even a mention as to how the petitioner is aggrieved by the actions of the UIDAI and how his constitutional rights have been violated to entitle him to damages claimed by him,” the UIDAI said.

Adding that there is no merit in the application, UIDAI, in its reply, said: “The alleged facts (leakage of Aadhaar data) on the basis of which the petitioner has filed the plea are unsubstantiated statements and the information relating to the Aadhaar scheme has been grossly misreported and interpolated to mislead this court.

“The petitioner has pivoted his entire case around the misleading and unverified reports in the media regarding security breach of data related to Aadhaar, which is entirely denied as incorrect and misinformed.”

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The agency requested the court to dismiss the plea with cost as the petitioner has no locus standi to file this application.

The petitioner has said his constitutional rights have been violated due to the negligence of UIDAI.

Citing the top court’s judgement, the petitioner said that when the state violates the constitutional rights of a citizen, courts may award compensation.

Basheer has also requested the court to appoint an independent committee comprising multiple experts to investigate the scope, extent of breaches and the magnitude of harm caused due to data leak. (IANS)