HC questions Centre on disabled's Aadhaar woes

Published on 10 Nov 2017 by Team

KOLKATA: The pleas of a mother of a 27-year-old with cerebral palsy, who failed to get Aadhaar-registered despite three attempts because of his physical disability, prompted the Calcutta high court on Thursday to ask the central government one simple question: why were people, including those with serious disability, being forced to knock on the judiciary's doors to get themselves on the Sanat Maitra has 83 per cent cerebral palsy, which impairs his ability to look straight at the camera — for the iris scan — or give fingerprints. This has meant three rejections of his application to be enrolled on the Aadhaar platform. But Sanat, his mother Nupur Maitra told the court, had received texts from his bank, telling him to link his bank account with his (non-existent) Aadhaar number, failing which the account would be rendered inoperative.

The Barisha resident, therefore, came to the Calcutta HC, pleading it to direct the government to issue her son an Aadhaar card, which would enable him to withdraw money from his savings account at the Behala branch of a bank.

Pic Courtesy- Word press

Justice Debangshu Basak asked the central government counsel a few specific questions: "If the central government is saying that Aadhaar is mandatory for everyone, then why do citizens have to come to the high court to get their Aadhaar. Why does the court have to intervene? Why does a citizen, affected with 83 per cent cerebral palsy, have to come to the court?" He then directed the Centre's consul to submit its reply on November 13 after turning down his request for more time. Nupur's counsel and senior lawyer, Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee, told the court that the Aadhaar Act had a special provision for people with disabilities. "This is being done in other states but hasn't started in Bengal," he said. The judge then asked the Centre to include in its reply whether this software had been made available in Bengal.

Chatterjee said Sanat went to an Aahar Enrolment centre first in January 2016. He submitted his biometric details, including his fingerprints and iris scan, but found his application rejected. He again went to the centre in August 2016 and again in January 2017 but Sanat's applications were rejected each time.

Source- Times of India

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