Aadhaar for students: Maharashtra again flouting Supreme Court order
Despite a clear direction from the Supreme Court for not making Aadhaar mandatory for any services other than allowed by it, the Maharashtra government is found to be openly flouting this order. The Education Department headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Vinod Tawde is again enforcing Aadhaar for all students appearing for senior secondary (SSC) and higher secondary (HSC) examinations across the state. Pune-based Sajag Nagrik Manch and Nagrik Chetana Manch have filed a complaint to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, requesting the government to withdraw a circular issued by the Education Department on Aadhaar. 
 
Pramod Patil, Section Officer in the Education Department on 21 September 2016 issued a letter to the Chairman of Maharashtra State Secondary & Higher Secondary Education Board. The Letter issued on 'urgent' basis directs the Chairman to mandatorily obtain Aadhaar number of students appearing for the SSC and HSC examinations from 2016-17. Patil also asked the Chairman to make suitable changes in the registration form to accommodate Aadhaar number of students. 
 
 
In the complaint, both the Manchs, represented by Vivek Velankar and Dr Anupam Saraph, said, "This (issuing circular) is a shocking disrespect of the rule of law and of the repeated orders of the Supreme Court. We request you to immediately withdraw above mentioned circular making Aadhaar card mandatory for 10th and 12th board form filling immediately failing which we will be compelled to approach the courts for remedies and relief from your failure to respect the rule of law."
 
The Office of Maharashtra Chief Secretary forwarded the complaint to the Principal Secretary of Education Department request him to take necessary action as per the rules and also inform the Manchs on the action being taken.
 
On 14 September 2016, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Adarsh Kumar Goel, while staying operation and implementation of scheme for pre-matric scholarship scheme, post-matric scholarship scheme and merit-cum-means scholarship scheme asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India to remove Aadhaar number as a mandatory condition for student registration form at the national scholarship portal of the Ministry.
 
This is the second time the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government is openly flouting orders issued by the apex court. Last year in April, the Maharashtra government issued a resolution for making Aadhaar mandatory for all students up to 14 years of age in the state and connect it with their school admission number. The district collector, as well as district education officer, is asked to fully implement this scheme before 26th June and submit a report. What the Education Department had forgotten was at that time majority of schools in the state were having summer vacations.
 
Earlier, on 16 March 2015, a Bench of Justices J Chelameswar, SA Bobde and C Nagappan directed the central and state governments not to insist on possessing Aadhaar for availing benefits under the various social security schemes as it reiterated an order it passed in September 2013.
 
Later on 16 October 2015, while reiterating that Aadhaar scheme is purely voluntary, the SC extended its usage for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Earlier the apex court had allowed usage of Aadhaar to public distribution scheme (PDS), for the distribution of foodgrains, cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG.
 
The order says, "We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23 September 2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other."
 
Yet, the Maharashtra government is trying to enforce Aadhaar on students appearing for SSC and HSC, two of the most important examinations in a students' career.
 
With the Maharashtra government twice openly flouting directions from the Supreme Court, it is high time the apex court takes suo moto action against those responsible for this contempt of Court orders, be it the Minister or other babus.
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    COMMENTS

    Ravinder

    3 years ago

    Myself, at the age of 64, also likely to lose my identity because of botched up implementation of the program. My mobile phones are not getting linked, my bank account is likely to go inactive beyond 31st December, my pension will be stopped, my entry in airports and is likely to be denied (as they are likely to introduce biometrics tools at the entry points and all for the simple reason the biometric machines do not recognise my finger prints even after having them updated at Aadhaar Centre two times. The consequences are far reaching, which one can not imagine right now as more and more agencies start using the same. I have written every where right from the UIADI, Department of Public Grievances and what not, talked to mobile operators many times. No body listens. I am desperate and sometimes start thinking of ending of my life. It is getting too much for me to handle. Is is high time the Government and the Supreme Court does something about.

    Kambhatla Lakshmi

    4 years ago

    I too faced the same problem with the finger prints.I do feel that finger prints of the same person may not match due to ageing and wear and tear of the skin with time.so there should be another way of identifying the person like taking a proper photo of the face of the person. They should take photos with and without aspects. First of all the government should take this important step of taking proper photo of the face of the person on the Aadhar card before insisting on linking it with all the important documents of Indian citizens. Otherwise people 'll be facing lots of problems. I do hope that God will make them understand our diffculty/problem.thank you,

    Sambhua Bhuniaa

    4 years ago

    Yes it and not made mandatory. To get Aadhar card is a herculin task

    Chhaya Vaidya

    5 years ago



    I want to know whether it is compulsory for inclusion of name in voter list?

    niten

    5 years ago

    Same is case in jharkhand.CBSE Schools are asking for it (Compulsory.).

    Roy Aranha

    5 years ago

    shocking aaacha din ?

    Hemant

    5 years ago

    Well even PSU banks are asking for Aadhar card as compulsory document. On asking them ,they says uper se order aya hai.

    Rabindra Kumar Dash

    5 years ago

    Yes it and not made mandatory.To Get Aadhar card is a herculian task.

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