A petitioner from Mumbai on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against the Centre’s Aadhaar scheme, claiming that the biometric system impinges upon his fundamental right to follow religious faith, PTI reported. The petitioner sought exemption for him and his family from the Aadhaar scheme on the grounds that Christianity does not permit it.
A five-judge Constitution bench, which is hearing petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, took note of the petition moved by John Abraham. He claimed that his son was denied admission to college because he did not submit his biometric details for Aadhaar, Live Law reported.
Abraham’s lawyer Sanjay Hegde told the court that the petitioner and his family were devoted Christians and consider themselves the “conscientious objectors” of the same. The petitioner said he and his family believe the Aadhaar “is the mark and number of the beast” as told in the Book of Revelations which was a “prophetic warning against unchristian practices.” He, however, clarified that he does not speak for all Christians.
“It is clear that it is impossible for a person to go about their everyday lives without having an Aadhaar,” Abraham said in his petition, according to The Indian Express. “It is a biometric identification, with finger print and iris scan data...This is similar to the warning issued in the Book of Revelation. Various interpretations of the book note that the ‘beast’ is symbolic of modern day political power.”
The bench questioned whether a person can refuse to abide by the law saying his conscience doesn’t allow it. “In secular matters, can you say that I will not opt for it,” PTI quoted the bench as saying. “For example, can a person refuse to opt for the Income Tax saying his conscience does not allow it.”
The Supreme Court on Tuesday concluded hearing the petitions against the Aadhaar scheme. Attorney General KK Venugopal will place his arguments on Wednesday. On March 13, the top court had indefinitely extended the deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers. The Constitution bench said there will be no deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various schemes until the court pronounced its judgment on the matter.