Supreme Court Interim Order on Aadhaar Data Collection
ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA
NIRVACHAN SADAN, ASHOKA ROAD, NEW DELHI -110001
No. 23/1/2015(NERPAP)-ERS Dated: 13th August, 2015
The Chief Electoral Officers of All States and Union Territories.
Subject: National Electoral Rolls Purification & Authentication Programme (NERPAP) – Collection of Aadhaar Number from the applicants – regarding
I am directed to refer to the Commission’s letter No. 23/1/2015-ERS dated 27th February, 2015 issuing detailed guidelines for National Electoral Rolls Purification & Authentication Programme (NERPAP) activities launched on 3rd March, 2015. One of the major objectives of NERPAP is linking and authentication of EPIC data of electors with Aadhaar data of UIDAI. For this purpose, currently Aadhaar Number of electors is being collected through various modes throughout the country.
2. In this connection, I am to state that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, while considering Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 (Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) & Another v/s Union of India & Others),has, by way of an interim measure, passed, interalia, the following Order on 11th August, 2015 –
” 2. The production of an Aadhaar card will not be condition for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen;
3. The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme;
4. The information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a Court for the purpose of criminal investigation;”
3. Accordingly, in the light of the above Order, the Commission has directed the following –
(i) All further activities relating to collection/feeding/seeding of Aadhaar Number being undertaken currently under NERPAP shall be suspended with immediate effect till further directions from the Commission. In other words, henceforth no more collection of Aadhaar Numbers from electors or feeding/seeding of collected Aadhaar data shall be done by any election authority or official connected with the NERPAP.
(ii) No Aadhaar data shall be collected from any other agency/data hub/organization of Central Government/State Government, nor should the data collected so far be used for any authentication/other purpose.
(iii) So far maintenance of data security and confidentiality of Aadhaar data, already collected from electors or from some other Government Departments/Agencies is concerned, the Commission’s instructions contained in letter No. 23/1/2015(NERPAP)-ERS dated 22nd May, 2015 shall be adhered to scrupulously by all election officials involved in the activity.
(iv) AII DEOs, EROs, AEROs, BLOs and other field level electoral machinery shall be sensitized of the Commission’s above instructions for strict compliance. Any violations of these instructions will be viewed seriously by the Commission and attract disciplinary action.
(v) Proper publicity shall be given to disseminate the Commission’s above instructions. A Press Note shall be issued by CEOs and DEOs clarifying the position in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Order, referred to above, for information and compliance by all concerned.
(vi) All publicity being done in respect of NERPAP activities relating to collection of Aadhaar Number shall be stopped immediately and all publicity material pertaining thereto, available on CEO’s website shall be withdrawn. Information about suspension of this activity should be displayed on the website and notice boards in the offices of DEOs and EROs/AEROs.
(vii) Other activities of NERPAP for purification except collection/feeding/seeding of Aadhaar Number, will continue and be carried out during the period of Continuous updation and special Summary Revision, 2016.
4. These instructions shall be brought to the notice of all concerned. All concerned will ensure strict compliance of order of Hon’ble SC as stated above. (A copy annexed)
5. Kindly acknowledge receipt of the letter and ensure strict compliance.
Sd/- NARENDRA N BUTOLIA
No. 23/NERPAP dated 13.08.2015State Election Commission, Aadhaar, NERPAP