Delhi High Court issues notice to Central Government in Aadhaar Ordinance challenge
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Delhi High Court issues notice to Central Government in Aadhaar Ordinance challenge

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Central Government in a plea challenging the Constitutional validity of The Aadhaar and Others Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 (Aadhaar Ordinance 2019).

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Anup J Bhambhani has asked Centre to file its objections to the plea within four weeks.

The Ordinance, which was notified in the Official Gazette on March 2, 2019, has brought amendments to the Indian Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, making it voluntary for citizens to use Aadhaar as a proof of ID. This effectively means that Aadhaar can be used as a voluntary ID proof for obtaining a SIM card and for opening a bank account.

It is the Petitioner’s stance that the Ordinance violates the basic structure of the Constitution.

The Petition, preferred by Reepak Kansal, states that the Ordinance was promulgated by the Centre on February 28, 2019, to overturn the Supreme Court’s judgment which struck down the compulsory use of Aadhaar based KYC for mobile connections and bank accounts to prevent exploitation of an individual biometric and demographic information by the private entities.

The Petition filed through Advocates Reepak Kansal and Yadunandan Bansal submits the Ordinance has allowed the private sector to “use.. the Aadhaar infrastructure through the back door”.

It is further stated that the Ordinance needed “no immediate action and hurry” in terms of Article 123 (1) of the Constitution of India.

Assailing the manner in which the Ordinance was promulgated, the petition contends that the Central government had the democratic option to call a joint sitting of the Houses to pass the Aadhaar Bill. It, however, “conveniently chose” to promulgate an ordinance in order to commit fraud upon the Constitution.

“..the adamancy of the executive to surpass the legislative supremacy and judicial autonomy is a serious constitutional threat..promulgation of the ordinance is bypassing the democratic process and is a jolt to constitutional scheme.

The matter would be next heard on July 9.

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