The Bombay High Court on Monday said a person’s salary cannot be withheld if their bank account is not linked to Aadhaar. The court was hearing a petition filed by a Mumbai Port Trust employee, PTI reported.
Ramesh Purale, who is a chargeman at the port trust, moved the High Court after the Centre stopped paying his salary in July 2016. In December 2015, the Union Ministry of Shipping had issued a letter asking Purale to link his salary account and Aadhaar card. But Purale refused to do so, citing his fundamental right to privacy. Months later, he stopped receiving his salary.
Earlier this month, he filed an application relying on the Supreme Court’s September 26 judgement on Aadhaar. The top court had upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar by a 4:1 majority and said the biometric identification scheme does not violate a person’s right to privacy. However, it struck down certain provisions of the Aadhaar Act and ruled that the number need not be linked to mobile phones and bank accounts.
“How can you [Centre] take a stand that salary will not be given to an employee because his Aadhaar card is not linked to the salary account?” Justice AS Oka asked on Monday. “We have perused the apex court’s judgement. Prime facie, we are of the view that the petitioner’s salary cannot be withheld on the ground that there is failure to link Aadhaar card with the bank account.”
The court directed the government to pay Purale his arrears and adjourned the case to January 8 for a final hearing.