HC seeks Centre’s response on plea to use Aadhaar details of missing persons

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought the Centre’s response on a PIL seeking direction to utilise biometric and Aadhaar details of missing persons, including children, aged and mentally challenged, so that they can be re-united with their families.

Notice issued to the Ministry of Home Affairs by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar on the plea which also sought direction to the authorities to spread awareness in this regard to track the pre-existed biometrics and Aadhaar details for re-uniting missing persons with their families across country.
The bench asked the ministry to file an action taken report on the representation made by petitioner advocate Amit Sahni to the authorities and listed the matter for further hearing on November 13.

The petition said the Centre be directed to issue appropriate and mandatory directions to the authorities for utilising biometric/Aadhaar of missing children, old aged persons and mentally challenged persons immediately for the purpose of tracing and re-uniting them with their families as and when they are rescued by any department.
It said the petitioner was not challenging any question of law, which is already pending adjudication before the Supreme Court, that is, the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.
“There have been many debates regarding Aadhaar and the issue of its constitutional validity is pending before the Supreme Court of India but the same is very useful for tracing missing persons, if the Aadhaar of such missing persons is pre-existed,” it said.

The plea referred to the statistics of National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2016 as per which the total missing persons are 5,49,008 and untraced ones are 3,19,627 .

Sahni also referred to a judicial order in which by the intervention of a trial court, a 31-year-old mentally challenged woman was re-united with her family in Rajasthan through Aadhaar.
In that case, a mentally challenged woman was rescued by Delhi Police and produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra, who directed the authorities to help the victim to undergo the process of Aadhaar, which revealed that her biometric records pre-existed in the Aadhaar database.

The police obtained her details from the Unique Identification Authority of India after which she the woman was re-united with her family.

Centre willing to extend deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhar

Centre willing to extend deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhar
Centre willing to extend deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhar

The Centre today informed the Supreme Court that it was willing to extend till March 31 next year the deadline fixed for mandatory linking of Aadhaar for availing various services and welfare schemes.

The Supreme Court now will be setting up a five-judge Constitution Bench next week to hear several pleas seeking an interim stay on the Centre’s decision of mandatory linking of Aadhaar.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was informed by Attorney General K K Venugopal that the Centre was willing to extend the deadline of December 31 to March 31 next year for linking of Aadhaar with various services and schemes.

The Attorney General, however, made clear that February 6 next year would remain the deadline for linking Aadhaar for availing uninterrupted mobile services as it had been mandated by the apex court.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for those who are opposed to Aadhaar scheme told the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, that the central government should give an undertaking that no coercive steps would be taken against those fail to link their Aadhaar with various services.

The apex court on October 30 had said that a Constitution Bench would commence hearing on the clutch of petitions against Aadhaar scheme from the last week of November.

Recently, a nine-judge constitution bench of the apex court had held that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had claimed it violated privacy rights.

The Centre had on October 25 told the top court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to receive benefits of government schemes has been extended till March 31, 2018 for those who do not have the 12-digit unique biometric identification number and were willing to enrol for it.

The Attorney General had told the court that no coercive action would be taken against those who do not have the Aadhaar card but are willing to enrol for. He had said such people would not be denied the benefits of social welfare schemes till March 31.

Some petitioners in the top court have termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as “illegal and unconstitutional”.

They had also objected to the CBSE’s alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.

One of the counsel representing the petitioners had earlier said that final hearing in the main Aadhaar matter, which is pending before the apex court, was necessary as the government “cannot compel” citizens to link their Aadhaar with either bank accounts or cell phone numbers.

( Source – PTI )

Court notice to centre on plea against ‘Aadhar’ cards

uidThe 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 )

Plea against ‘Aadhaar’; HC asks Delhi govt to respond

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Aadhaar, Delhi, Unique Identification Authority of India, High court, Ashutosh Chandola, Aadhaar card, Planning Commission,  public services from the Government, voter I-Card, passport

New Delhi: The city government has been asked by the High court here in Delhi to respond to a plea seeking quashing of its executive orders that made Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) or ‘Aadhaar’ compulsory for availing various public services here.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued the notice to the Delhi government on a plea of Ashutosh Chandola that Aadhaar card, which was made optional by the Planning Commission, has now been made mandatory for availing benefits and public services in the national capital.

“Issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash executive orders…passed by the Delhi Government vide which Aadhaar has been mandatory for availing all public services from the Government of NCT of Delhi,” according to the petition.

It also said a direction be given to the government to accept other identity and address proofs such as voter I-Card, passport and other documents, prescribed by the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, for availing public services in Delhi.

“The entire (Aadhaar) project (of Planning Commission) is meant to be voluntary in nature and this is reflected in the Aadhaar enrolment form which clearly mentions that the Aadhaar enrolment is free and voluntary,” according to it.

The project was launched to empower the poor, who lack ID proofs, in accessing various welfare and other services. The Government, however, issued executive orders and made Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining various certificates relating to “caste, domicile, income, death and birth.”

Aadhaar has also been made necessary for registration of various documents relating to property, will and marriages, the petition said. It said the constitutional validity of UIDAI has been challenged in the Supreme Court and till the case is decided, “the burden of obtaining an Aadhaar should not be made mandatory on the public for availing public services.”

NAC for dedicated courts to try offences under SC/ST Act

Here in National Advisory Council (NAC), Sonia Gandhi  recommended setting up of dedicated courts to try offences under the SC/ST Act on fast track basis besides defining ‘wilful negligence’ by public servants

The council also suggested that preventing Dalits and tribals from entering places of worship, imposing social boycott on them should be made punishable offences.

At its meeting here, the NAC deliberated on the proposals of its working group on Dalit issues to amend the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Obstructing members of such groups from using community resources will also be made an offence under amendments proposed by the NAC to the 24-year-old law.

It wanted the government to make provisions in the Act to ensure that the cases are disposed of within three months from filing of the charge sheet.

The NAC also recommended that relevant IPC offences attracting punishment of less than 10 years committed against SCs and STs should be defined as offences under this act.

It also wanted expansion of the scope of presumption as to whether perpetrator had knowledge of the SC/ST identity of the victim, while committing the offence.

It further suggested strengthening State accountability by clearly defining ‘wilful negligence’ by public servants.

“Rules to the Act be amended to ensure that quantum of relief and rehabilitation is enhanced, and further that it is not calculated as a fixed amount, but adjusted annually to inflation. In addition, the compensation should be released expeditiously,” the NAC suggested.

Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, made a presentation on the Aadhaar project and Direct Benefit Transfer.