Citizens Form for Civil Liberties (CFCL)
Press Release/ New Delhi, March 4, 2013
Punjab & Haryana High Court finds application of Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar legally questionable
Executive order for Biometric UID ‘Cards’ withdrawn
UPA’s Budget 2013 is promotion of Aadhaar is unconstitutional
High Court finds application of UID/Aadhaar illegal like the Parliamentary Committee on Finance
Responding to the direction issued to the Union of India and Union Territory of Chandigarh by Punjab and Haryana High Court in the matter of Civil Writ Petition 569 of 2013 filed in the High Court against Union of India and others, the Executive Order for making Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar has been withdrawn. The affidavit of the Union Territory of Chandigarh withdrawing its Executive Order is attached.
In its order the bench of Justice A K Sikri, Chief Justice and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain dated February 19, 2013 had not noted that the petition “raises a pure question of law.” The order is attached. Since the Executive Order was withdrawn, the case too was disposed of March 2, 2013 with a two page order. The order is attached.
The Order observes, “In this writ petition filed as PIL, the petitioner has challenged the vires of notification issued by Union of India for making it compulsory to have UID Cards. Admittedly, this issue is pending before the Supreme Court and therefore, on
the last date of hearing i.e. on 19.2.2013, we did not observe anything on this issue.”
It is further observed that “Second issue raised in this petition is that vide order dated 5.12.2012, respondent No.3 i.e. Deputy Commissioner, U.T., Chandigarh has given directions to the Branch In charge Registration-cum-Accountant, office of Registering & Licensing Authority, Chandigarh not to accept any application for registration of vehicle and grant of learner/regular driving licence without UID card.”
It is quite bizarre that Union Territory of Chandigarh remains ignorant of the fact that UID is not a card, it is a 12 digit number. The entire government machinery is hiding the fact that fundamentally UID is not a proof of identity, it is an identifier contained in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) of (UID)/Aadhaar Numbers. Union Territory of Chandigarh failed to inform the Court the UID is not a card but an identification number based on biometric data without any legal mandate.
The petition had made the following prayers: i) Issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash Executive order dated 5.12.2012 passed by respondent no.3 passed in violation of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 vide which UID has been mandatory for the registration of vehicles and grant of learner/ regular driving licence.
ii) a writ in the nature of mandamus directing Union of India to accept other proofs of Identity and address i.e. Voter I-Card issued by Election Commission of India, the Constitutional body and Passport issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Govt. of India and other proofs of address, age prescribed under Rule 4 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 for issuance of learning/ regular driving licence and for registration of vehicle;
iii) Further it sought direction for Union Territory of Chandigarh and Union of India not to make mandatory UID for essential public Utility Services and accept other documents as proof of Identity and address as per the Rules;
iv) a writ in the nature of certiorari quashing notification dated 28.1.2009 being illegal and further issuance of a appropriate writ declaring the Unique Identification Authority of India constituted vide Notification dated 28.1.2009 unconstitutional as the same has no legal sanctity as the UIDAI been constituted and functioning illegally as the National Identification Authority of India Bill-2010 is pending in the Parliament of India.
The writ petition had emphasized that during the pendency of the petition Executive order dated December 5, 2012 and other similar executive orders vide which Adhaar have been made compulsory for essential public utility services may kindly be stayed.
In its concluding paragraph the March 2, 2013 order of the High Court reads, “Today, short affidavit of Mr.M.Shayin, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, UT, Chandigarh is filed stating that the aforesaid instructions have been reviewed and now the insistence of UID card is no longer treated as mandatory. No further orders are required to be passed in this petition, which is accordingly disposed of.”
It is noteworthy that UPA’s Budget Speech of 2013 announced that “We are redoubling our efforts to ensure that the digitized beneficiary lists are available; that a bank account is opened for each beneficiary; and that the bank account is seeded with Aadhaar in due course.” In the light of the High Court’s order, the implementation of opening of bank accounts seeded with UID/Aadhaar is legally and constitutionally questionable. Earlier, Parliamentary Standing Committee, Finance rejected the UID/Aadhaar project and the related UID Bill in its report to the Parliament dated December 13, 2011.
Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) has been campaigning against unregulated biometric, surveillance and identification technology companies since 2010 and had appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Finance in this regard. CFCL has consistently underlined that the silence of the States which are quite vocal about threats to federal structure from Union Home Ministry‘s National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) that integrates 21 sets of databases in the matter of the creation of UID’s Centralized Identities Data Register (CIDR) disregarding the fact that Planning Commission’s CIDR and Home Ministry’s National Population Register (NPR) is inexplicable.
For Details: Gopal Krishna, Citizens Form for Civil Liberties (CFCL), Mb: 9818089660, E-mail: email@example.com
Chandigarh High Court Order