SRINAGAR, July 24: The High Court today sought response from the Government to the supplementary affidavit on a petition, wherein it is stated that enrolment of Aadhaar system in the State is 67 percent while as 33 percent people have been left out.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Badar Durez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while hearing a petition filed by Advocate Syed Musaib Ahmad submitting there-in that Aadhaar Scheme infringes the Right of Privacy and the same is subject matter of five Judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court.
State Counsel also submitted before the court that since the issue is pending before the Constitutional bench of Apex Court and with these submissions, Court kept the matter for further proceedings in the month of September and, meantime, sought response to the supplementary affidavit of the petitioner counsel.
High Court last year had stayed the Government order in its entirety with the observation that the Supreme Court has already held possession of Aadhaar is not mandatory but later the court clarified the same and held that the stay is only to the linkage of biometric system with Aadhaar Card as Supreme Court has held that possession of Aadhaar is not mandatory.
It is highlighted in the supplementary affidavit that the total percentage of individuals enrolled with Aadhaar system as on 15.3.2016 is only 67 percent and 33 percent population have been left out as such State of J&K is the lowest enrolled State. It is further highlighted in the affidavit that as per the reports, Aadhaar enrolment centers in the State have already been closed, therefore, remaining 33
percent of the population has no scope or facility of getting enrolled with Aadhaar system and in result they shall be deprived of all benefits available.
In its order Supreme Court has made it clear that Aadhaar Card Scheme is voluntary and cannot be made mandatory till the matter is decided by the Supreme Court in one way or the other and the interim orders shall be strictly followed.
It may be mentioned that High Court quashed the earlier Government order whereby the possession of Adahaar Card was made mandatory for the various purposes including drawing of salary for Government employees.
The court while quashing the said order held that the Government order No. 35-F of 2016 dated 10.2.2016 is in contrary of the orders of Supreme Court as such quashed the same and directed the Government to pass fresh order in tune with the direction of Supreme Court.
State Government had issued an order no. 35-F of 2016 dated 10.2.2016 wherein possession of Aadhaar Card was made mandatory for almost all sections of the people including employees, pensioners, Public Sector Unit Holders etc, while as Supreme Court in its interim order on October 2015, observed that Adahaar Card is ‘purely voluntary’ and not mandatory and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is decided by the Supreme Court one way or the other.