The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala challenging a law that allows linking electoral roll data with Aadhaar, Live Law reported.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna told Surjewala to approach the Delhi High Court.
“Why don’t you move the Delhi High Court,” the bench said, according to Live Law. “You are challenging sections of Election Act.”
The Union government had notified the law to link the electoral roll with Aadhaar under the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021, on June 17. The law allows electoral registration officers to seek Aadhaar numbers of citizens who want to register as voters to establish their identity.
In his petition, Surjewala argued that the law is unconstitutional and violates the rights to privacy and equality.
The government has maintained that sharing Aadhaar details will be voluntary. However, several activists have expressed concerns that linking the two documents can compromise the privacy of citizens’ data.
In March 2015, the Election Commission launched a countrywide project to link Aadhaar and voter ID cards. The project was stopped after a Supreme Court judgement in October 2015 that limited the purposes for which Aadhaar could be used. Voter identification was not among them.
However, during the project, state election commissions were found to have used data collected for other schemes without consent, a Scroll.in investigation in February 2019 showed.
The government has argued that the linking of both the IDs is meant to remove fake voters as several persons register their names on the electoral rolls in multiple states. The Opposition has, however, contended that the linking could lead to more non-citizens voting in the country.