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The Allahabad High Court has issued notice in plea to direct the Central Government to disclose details of the pro forma of personal data proposed to be collected for the National Population Register (NPR) exercise.
A petition in this regard has been filed by one, Manvednra Pratap Singh.
As recounted in an order passed by the First Bench of the Court, the Central Government had issued an Instruction Manual for the updation of National Population Register (NPR) 2020.
This was done invoking powers under the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue Of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
As part of this exercise to update the NPR database of “usual residents” in the country, the Government was expected to collect personal data along with the conduct of the houselisting and housing census of India, 2021
The petitioner had pointed out that the exercise would require that personal details of the person, including Aadhar number, mobile number, election photo identity cards or voter ID card number, Indian Passport number and driving license number be collected.
In this backdrop, the petitioner is stated to have submitted that since such data would form the foundation of the National Register of Citizens, it would be necessary to have copy of the pro forma in which all personal data is provided by a citizen.
To support his case, the petitioner also points out that event as per the 2003 Rules, no adverse decision can be taken by the Government in the matter without granting an opportunity to be heard. Such an opportunity would include the supply of the personal data sought to be collected, that in turn relates to the placement of persons in the NRC.
Earlier this month, the Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Chandra Dhari Singh granted time to the Government time to respond on the petition.
In the meanwhile, yesterday, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly commented in the house of the Parliament that no document would be mandatorily asked for the preparation of the NPR. He is reported to have said, “No document is being asked. All information is voluntary. Whatever information a participant wants to share will be recorded.”
The Home Minister is also stated to have assured that no participant would be marked as a “doubtful” citizen, if such person is unable to provide the information sought.
[Read the Allahabad HC order]