SC Declines Urgent Hearing Of PIL Seeking Linking Of Aadhaar & Voter IDs

SC Declines Urgent Hearing Of PIL Seeking Linking Of Aadhaar & Voter IDs

The Supreme Court today turned down an oral plea made for urgent listing of a PIL seeking linking of Aadhaar with Voter IDs.

The PIL is filed in February 2018 by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwani Upadhyaya, who made the oral mention today before the bench of CJI.

In April 2018, the SC had said that it will hear the petition after the constitution bench delivers judgment in the Aadhaar case.

The petition seeks a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to implement 'Aadhaar Based Election Voting System', in order to curtail bogus votes and ensure maximum participation.

"...as on date, the Aadhaar database is the most authenticate database of the citizens and chances of duplication in Aadhaar is almost negligible as it is beyond the realms of possibility and probability to fudge biometric details which is a pre-condition for Aadhaar enrollment. In the given circumstances, the use of Aadhaar details by the Election Commission will not only improve the overall health of electoral rolls by enabling deletion of duplicate entries but would also enable the Election Commission to provide additional services," it contends.

In the alternative, the petition has demanded that election identity cards be linked with Aadhaar in order to crack down on duplicate or fake votes.

The Petition contends that fake, duplicate or bogus votes violate the rights of the citizens guaranteed under Articles 14, 325 and 326 of the Constitution of India in two ways: "(i) It prevents free exercise of "right to vote" and "one man one vote" due to use of money and muscle power. (ii) It effects ordinary citizen's rights to get elected and puts him to great disadvantage due to reduced win-ability factor as the fake and fabricated votes are generally polled in favour of candidates having money and muscle power."

It alleges that the current voting system is "less transparent" and that the main challenges faced by the current system are inter alia authentication of voters, security of the voting process and protection of voted data. The proposed system, it submits, would use fingerprint and face biometric to cast votes through an e-voting system, in order to tackle these issues.

The Petition, however, clarifies that the voter should not be denied his right to vote for not submitting Aadhaar details, contending, "...use of the Aadhaar data by the Election Commission may be mandatory but petitioner feels that the Election Commission should not deny the electoral roll to a person who is not willing to submit his/her Aadhaar details. Petitioner feels that linking of Aadhaar is not only necessary to ensure free and fair election but also to curtail fake and fabricated electoral rolls.