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Aadhaar Cards Not Tied to Citizenship, Can Be Issued to Non-Citizens: UIDAI Informs Calcutta High Court

The UIDAI told the Calcutta High Court that Aadhaar cards are issued independently of citizenship status. They emphasized that even non-residents who legally enter India can apply for Aadhaar cards. This statement came during a hearing where Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya were considering a petition from the ‘Joint Forum Against NRC’. […]

The UIDAI told the Calcutta High Court that Aadhaar cards are issued independently of citizenship status. They emphasized that even non-residents who legally enter India can apply for Aadhaar cards. This statement came during a hearing where Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya were considering a petition from the ‘Joint Forum Against NRC’. The petition challenged the sudden deactivation and reactivation of Aadhaar cards in West Bengal and questioned the validity of Regulations 28A and 29 of the Aadhaar Rules, which empower the UIDAI to deactivate cards for foreigners.

Senior Counsel Laxmi Gupta for UIDAI began by disputing the legitimacy of the petitioners, describing them as an “unregistered organization” and arguing they lacked the right to bring such a plea. It was argued that Aadhaar cards are not linked to citizenship and can be issued temporarily to non-citizens for accessing government subsidies.

UIDAI also contested the plea’s validity, asserting it supported non-citizens, potentially including Bangladeshis, without challenging Section 54 of the Aadhaar Act, from which these regulations derive. Additional Solicitor General Ashok Kumar Chakrabarti argued that challenging these rules could be construed as an affront to the country’s sovereignty.

The court listened to initial arguments and set a date for further proceedings.

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Aadhaar CardsChief Justice TS SivagnanamJoint Forum Against NRCTDG TheDailyGuardianUIDAI