The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central government on a petition challenging the implementation of the unique identification or “Aadhar” cards scheme on the ground that it violates the privacy of applicants.
The plea said the scheme was “highly invasive” and raised serious concerns regarding critical personal and biometric information.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru, issuing notice to ministry of planning also asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) through Planning Commission and the Delhi government to file their responses by Nov 6.
The plea, filed along with human rights activist Indu Prakash Singh, pleaded that the possession of UID or “Aadhar” card would not be made mandatory for access to any state provided service or facility. NGO Beghar Mazdoor Foundation said providing personal and biometric information was a violation of the “right to privacy” which forms an integral part of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution.
The plea sought destruction of all the personal and biometric data collected under the UID scheme and a stay on the implementation of the project.
The plea challenged the implementation of the UID scheme pursuant to the notification dated Jan 28, 2009.
The notification said the UIDAI was empowered to issue UID or “Aadhar” number to every resident of India, by collecting demographic and biometric information that was uniquely personal to every individual.
“Due to implementation of the UID scheme without any legal authority or framework many citizens in Delhi, especially those who are poor and marginalised, have been rendered ineligible from availing the services and schemes offered by the state,” said the petition.
It added: “The insistence of the Delhi government on UID being only acceptable proof of identity had rendered other proofs such as voter ID cards and ration cards redundant.”
The ministry of home affairs too had identified several flaws in the enrolment process of the UID scheme, it alleged.
(Source: IANS )
The Maharashtra government on Monday told the Bombay High Court that though ration cards could be linked with the newly introduced Aadhar cards, it was not possible to appoint a nodal agency to supervise the verification process.
A division bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and KK Tated was hearing a public interest litigation filed by one Jayprakash Unecha two years back on the issue of bogus ration cards.
The court had on the last hearing directed the government to consider linking ration cards with Aadhar cards so as to weed out bogus and duplicate ration cards in the state.
Additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamat Pai today told the court that linking ration cards and Aadhar cards was possible and is under consideration of the state government.
“Since the data process entry of Aadhar cards is still on, it is possible to verify such entries with ration cards. But it is not possible to appoint a nodal agency to do so,” according to her
Issuing notice to the additional solicitor general of India Kevic Setalvad for assistance in the case, the court adjourned the hearing till February 15.
The Maharashtra Government has been suggested by Bombay High Court to consider linking ration cards with the newly introduced Aadhar cards so as to ascertain bogus and duplicate ration cards in the state.
A division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and R D Dhanuka took a serious view of the issue of bogus ration cards and questioned the inaction on the part of the authorities.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Jayprakash Unecha two years back.
“Aren’t two years enough to unravel the mystery of bogus ration cards?” the bench said, adding, the government was short of staff and vision.
According to Justice Khanwilkar, “Will it not be a prudent approach in the matter to make it compulsory to produce the Aadhar card for the issuance of a new ration card? Why is the government not considering this? Unless you put a verification process in place, you cannot track the duplicate or bogus ration cards.”
When additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamat Pai informed the court that the government was short-staffed, the bench said, “Link everything to the Aadhar card scheme and make one team to run it. No great changes need to be made. The state will have to only link both the cards via a software.”
Directing the government to consider the link between the two cards, the court adjourned hearing of the PIL till next week.