Guwahati, April 11: The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre, Registrar General of India, UIDAI, and Assam government on a PIL filed by Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev seeking issuance of Aadhaar cards to persons included in the final NRC list published in Assam in August 2019.
The plea, filed through advocate Tulika Mukherjee, said subsequent to the publication of the draft list on December 31, 2017, nearly 21 lakh people whose names were admitted into the NRC (national register of citizens) vide the final supplementary list dated August 31, 2019, are not being provided 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 and approved by the top court though an order on November 1, 2018.
The plea said there exists no law which bars the grant of Aadhaar number to persons whose names appear in the final NRC list and therefore such an act is not sanctioned by law.
"It is submitted that not being able to obtain an Aadhaar Number puts nearly 20 lakh people in jeopardy as they would not be able to access the state sanctioned schemes, subsidies and benefits as the same requires mandatory registration under the Aadhaar regime", said the plea.
A bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit after hearing arguments in the matter, issued notice on the plea.
The plea argued that there exists no reasonable classification or intelligible differentia for meting out differential treatment to the people whose names appear on the NRC.
The plea contended that it is evident that there exists no bar under the Aadhaar Act to deny the Aadhaar number to persons whose names appear in the final supplementary NRC list released on August 31, 2019.
The plea said non grant of Aadhaar numbers violates the rights of the persons to the right of dignity of life as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution read with Article 19 of the Constitution.
"The only criteria laid down under the Aadhaar Act is that the person should have been a resident of the country for a period of 182 days or more in the preceding 12 months prior to filing an application. Further, as the Aadhaar Number is not a proof of citizenship, grant of Aadhaar would have no bearing on the effect of the object and purpose of the Citizenship Act and has any bearing on persons whose names appear on the NRC or not", added the plea.