New Delhi [India], October 31 (ANI): The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the Centre on a plea challenging the government's decision to enable Aadhaar-Voter Card linkage.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka sought a response from the Centre and tagged the petition filed by former Major General SG Vombatkere with a similar pending matter.
The plea challenged the power of the Election Commission of India to use the Aadhaar database in the process of deletion and updation of entries in the electoral roll.
It challenged the constitutional vires of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 and amended Section 23 and Section 28 of the Representation of People's Act, 1950 and the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2022 and two notifications regarding Aadhaar-Voter Card linkage.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench that the right to vote is one of the most sacred rights and it should not be denied if an individual lacks Aadhaar.
Divan argued that as per the Supreme Court judgment which upheld the Aadhaar Act 2016, an Aadhaar card could be used only for providing benefits and cannot be insisted on when a citizen is exercising rights.
Earlier, the Centre had amended the Registration of Electors Rules to allow linking Aadhaar details with a voters list to weed out duplicate entries and make election law gender-neutral for service voters.
As per the petition, the exercise sanctioned under the Act, Rules and the notifications pose a major threat to the independence of the Election Commission as the preparation of electoral rolls is made dependent on the processes and systems of Aadhaar/UIDAI that it has no control over.
It further stated that through the Act and Rules issued by the Central government, the Election Commission of India seeks to mandate people to link their Aadhaar numbers to the electoral rolls. (ANI)