New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the city government to respond to a plea seeking quashing of its executive orders that made Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) or Aadhaar compulsory for availing various public services in New Delhi.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued the notice to the Delhi government on a plea of Ashutosh Chandola that Aadhaar card, which was made optional by the Planning Commission, has now been made mandatory for availing benefits and public services in the national capital.
"Issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash executive orders...Passed by the Delhi Government vide which Aadhaar has been mandatory for availing all public services from the Government of NCT of Delhi," the petition said.
It also said a direction be given to the government to accept other identity and address proofs such as voter I-Card, passport and other documents, prescribed by the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, for availing public services in Delhi.
"The entire (Aadhaar) project (of Planning Commission) is meant to be voluntary in nature and this is reflected in the Aadhaar enrolment form which clearly mentions that the Aadhaar enrolment is free and voluntary," it said.
The project was launched to empower the poor, who lack ID proofs, in accessing various welfare and other services.
The Government, however, issued executive orders and made Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining various certificates relating to "caste, domicile, income, death and birth."
Aadhaar has also been made necessary for registration of various documents relating to property, will and marriages, the petition said.
It said the constitutional validity of UIDAI has been challenged in the Supreme Court and till the case is decided, "the burden of obtaining an Aadhaar should not be made mandatory on the public for availing public services."