The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned on the request of the Central Government the hearing of a plea seeking directions to issue Aadhaar cards to nearly 27 lakh persons who were added to the supplementary list of the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) published in August 2019.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Hima Kohli and JB Pardiwala adjourned the matter for November 18 after Attorney General R Venkataramani sought time.
AG requested the bench to have the matter on November 18 as there is an Office Memorandum and the government is looking at the implementation aspect.
“Government seeks a short adjournment to work out the modalities for implementation of Office Memorandum. List on November 18,” the bench said in its order.
Last month, the AG sought two more weeks to seek instruction from the government on the issue and the apex court posted the matter for today.
In April this year, the top court issued a notice to the Central government, the 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, 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 that of a Citizen of India. Therefore, there exists no intelligible differentia 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, the non-availability of an Aadhar number creates a major disadvantage in obtaining education access, application for jobs, application for PAN cards, ration cards, the 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 violates the principles laid down under Article 14 of the Constitution, it added. (ANI)