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SC seeks Centre’s view on plea against Aadhaar scheme

ration card, Aadhaar link-up.jpeg

New Delhi: A plea questioning the legality of data collection under the Aadhaar scheme was taken up today by the Supreme Court, which asked the government to make its stand clear on the issue concerning the erstwhile UPA regime’s flagship programme.

A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, which did not issue a notice to the government on the plea, asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to apprise it of the stand of the Centre and fixed the matter for further hearing on February 13.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for Mathew Thomas who has filed the PIL through lawyer Aishwarya Bhati, said all personal details of citizens were being sought in violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

The PIL sought quashing of the gazette notification of January 28, 2009 by the Planning Commission on the matter.

It also sought a direction to the Centre and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to destroy all the information collected pursuant to the notification.

After the notification, the UIDAI, which was not even a statutory body, had rolled out Unique ID (UID) scheme called “Aadhaar” for collection of personal data of Indian citizens, it claimed.

Various government bodies have also made availing of essential services, even withdrawal of salary, contingent upon possession of the Aadhaar card, The plea said.

It alleged that collection of data was being done by agencies whose “security credentials are not scrutinized thoroughly” and the Aadhaar card is being issued even to illegal migrants, enabling them to avail services of central government which are meant exclusively for Indian citizens.

“The avowed objectives of UID scheme are itself farcical and the entire exercise is nothing but colossal waste of public money and exposes India’s vulnerabilities,” it said.

The plea maintained that the UID project affected and abridged the rights of citizens, while the government did not have sufficient material to “come to the conclusion that such an incursion on the rights of the citizens was necessary.”

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