Aizawl, Oct 8 : Has the Congress-led Government of Mizoram committed contempt of court in the Supreme Court (SC) by going ahead with the biometric enrollment IUD or AADHAR claiming it as ‘mandatory’?
At the same time, many observers wonder if the project being inaugurated at this time with the Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla flagging it off by being the first person to be registered under AADHAR in the State breaks the Election Model Code of Conduct (EMCC).
Elections was announced on October 4. The State Information and Public Relations department issued a press statement along with photographs of him and his family at home where their biometric data was taken by the AADHAR team. When asked about this, the Jt Chief Electoral Officer Lalengmawia told this reporter that they would discuss this issue with the Election Commission of India before giving a reply.
Even as the SC recently ordered that the AADHAR 12 digit number is not ‘mandatory’ and cannot be linked to a citizen getting access to essential services, the State Government here has issued a press release in which it claims that getting this number is ‘mandatory’ for a person to gain access to all services, including gas, bank accounts, mobile phones, registration of marriages, etc.
The press release was splashed as headlines in most of the dailies here. The press release in the local language went so far as to warn that (translated) “those who do not register themselves within the specified time and do not have the AADHAR 12 digit UID number would not be marked in the National Population Register and hence would not be regarded as citizens of India.”
On September 23, the top court ruled that the Centre or States must not insist on Aadhar cards for providing essential services. “No citizen should suffer for the want of Aadhar cards”, the court had said on a petition questioning the constitutional validity of the Unique Identity Card scheme. The Supreme Court had said Aadhar card is not mandatory and no person should be deprived of any government schemes for want it.
Speaking to this reporter over phone today, retired Justice KS Puttaswamy, who filed the Public Interest Litigation against AADHAR being made mandatory by executive order, told this reporter that the SC ruling is binding on the Central Government and all State Governments. Any government that does not take this ruling into consideration is committing contempt of court, he said.
He also said that the Central Government has moved the Supreme Court to modify its ruling to make it mandatory for certain beneficiary based welfare schemes. It is coming up for hearing tomorrow (October 8).
As it is AADHAR and the biometric scheme is already controversial here in the state where people have some beliefs based on Bibilical prophecies that warn against such establishment enumeration. They believe that this is a numbering by the devil who would control the population of the world by giving them IUDs and refusing those who do not have this number. This has spread fear and insecurity among believers which cannot be a good atmosphere especially during polling time.