Aadhaar-voter ID linking: Supreme Court asks Randeep Singh Surjewala to move Delhi HC

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna asked Surjewala's counsel as to why they have not approached the high court first
Last Updated 25 July 2022, 10:57 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a PIL by Congress General Secretary and spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala challenging the move to link voter ID cards with Aadhaar numbers of citizens.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna said since the petitioner challenged the validity of the provisions of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2021, an efficacious alternate remedy was available before the High Court.

The court granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the High Court.

The petitioner's counsel contended that three different states would go to polls soon and different High Courts may pass orders that vary from each other. On this, the bench said if there are multiplicity of proceedings, the Centre may seek clubbing of cases and transfer all related cases to one High Court.

The petitioner also contended that the amendment is "manifestly arbitrary and completely irrational" since it intends to link two completely distinct documents (along with their data), i.e, the Aadhaar Card, which is a proof of residency (permanent or temporary) and EPIC/voter ID, which is a proof of citizenship.

Referring to the Supreme Court's 2018 judgment which upheld the validity of the Aadhaar Act 2016, the petitioner further claimed that the linking of voter cards and Aadhaar numbers fails to clear the test of proportionality.

The petition also claimed that the development can result in the disenfranchisement of millions of voters despite them possessing valid identity documents. The plea also claimed that there existed an equally effective alternative mechanism to curb the menace of multiple enrolments of voters at several places.

(Published 25 July 2022, 07:11 IST)

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