Supreme Court grants time over National Register of Citizens issue
SC granted 2 weeks' time to the Centre to look into the issue raised in a plea seeking directions to issue Aadhaar cards to nearly 27 lakh persons who were added in the supplementary list of Assam NRC published in August, 2019.
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted two weeks' time to the Centre to look into the issue raised in a plea seeking directions to issue Aadhaar cards to nearly 27 lakh persons who were added in the supplementary list of Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) published in August, 2019.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit adjourned the matter for November 9 after Attorney General R Venkataramani sought time to seek instructions from the government. The apex court in its order stated, "The AG is granted two weeks time to seek appropriate instructions in the matter. He may put in a note so that issues can be resolved on the next date".
In April this year, the apex court issued notice to the Central government, Assam government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on the PIL filed by All India Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev.
The plea filed by Dev stated that nearly 27 lakh people, whose names were admitted into the NRC by way of the final supplementary list dated August 31, 2019, are not being provided with their Aadhaar number due to the fact that the NRC biometric data has been put on hold citing the statement of purpose/ modalities for disposal of claims and objections prepared by the Union of India.
It said that consequently these people are not able to access benefits available via Aadhaar.
The plea submitted that once the person has been registered under the NRC, whether it be in the first draft List or the supplementary list, they will be entitled to the same benefits as enjoyed by a citizen of India, and therefore, there exists no intelligible difference between persons whose names appear in the NRC.
"The State government of Assam and the Union of India are denying access to the biometrics of the individuals whose names have been incorporated in the supplementary list dated August 31, 2019, and are therefore not able to access the benefits as would they be entitled to by having an Aadhar Number," the plea said.
They would not be able to access the state-sanctioned schemes, subsidies and benefits as the same requires mandatory registration under the Aadhar regime, the plea added.
The plea further said that the non-availability of an Aadhar number creates a major disadvantage in obtaining education access, application for jobs, application for PAN cards, ration cards, opening of bank accounts etc., and therefore impinging the ability of such people to have a right to livelihood, right to food, liberty, whether it be economical or political, self-determination and autonomy.
Such an action of the State entities to deny Aadhar to such a person is in violation of the principles laid down under Article 14 of the Constitution, it added. (ANI)