HC seeks UIDAI, Centre’s response on issuance of new Aadhaar number

NEW DELHI, July 13: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response from Centre and UIDAI on a petition seeking mechanism and procedure for issuance of new Aadhaar number to existing card holders.
Justice Rekha Palli issued notice on the petition filed by businessman Rajan Arora who apprehends that his personal details including Aadhaar number have been compromised.
Apart from seeking a direction to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to issue fresh Aadhaar number for Arora, the petition also seeks directions from court for protection of the fundamental right of privacy and prevention of further breach and damages.
Advocate Zoheb Hossain, appearing for UIDAI, submitted that the moment an Aadhaar number is issued, the person concerned and the number are “locked together for life”.
The court, however, responded that had that been the case, power would not have been given to UIDAI under Section 23(n) of the Aadhaar (Targeted delivery of Financial and other subsidies, benefits and services) Act of 2016 to lay down conditions and procedure for issuance of new Aadhaar number for exiting holders. “You have the power. It can’t be read in such a pragmatic manner (if it can’t be changed) then the rule has to go. It can be exercised in some manner,” the court said. The court added that it nonetheless agreed that an Aadhaar number could not be changed “at the whims and fancies” of a user.
In the petition filed through advocates Sonal Anand and Surabhi Singh, the petitioner informed the court that his Aadhaar number was found to be linked with certain overseas entities unknown to him.
Thereafter, he requested UIDAI to issue him a new Aadhaar number in light of a serious threat to his identity, the plea said adding that UIDAI took a stand that no resident could have a duplicate Aadhaar number and that there was no process for issuance of a new Aadhaar number to any citizen.
It is further stated in the petition that although there is a provision under the Aadhaar Act for issuance of new Aadhaar number to the existing users, yet UIDAI is not inclined to issue a new number to him.
The petitioner said he is facing difficulties in his business on account of the exiting Aadhaar being linked to the overseas entity.
The matter would be heard next on September 9. (PTI)