Aadhaar card must for getting Covid-19 vaccination?
It is being revealed that Aadhaar card is being asked for from the public to get Covid-19 vaccinations.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has claimed that Aadhaar card was being mandatorily asked for administering COVID-19 vaccination on the CoWIN portal. Taking cognizance of the matter, a Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna asked for a response from the Centre on Friday.
The SC bench issued a notice to the Centre after petitioner Siddharthshankar Sharma insisted that apart from seven identity documents mentioned in the CoWIN portal, Aadhaar card is still being insisted upon.
Advocates Mayank Kshirsagar and Dhruv Chawla, appearing for Sharma, said that there are several newspaper reports highlighting that the Aadhaar card is being insisted upon for Covid-19 vaccination. It was also mentioned that the Meghalaya High Court recently had to step in to sort out the issue too.
The SC bench reacted by saying, “Don't go by newspaper articles. Have you yourself seen that CoWIN app recently? It has been updated. Now, you don't require Aadhaar mandatorily, there are a list of other documents also. Go to the Frequently Asked Questions section of CoWIN and you will now see there are varieties of ID proofs with which you can register.”
Kshirsagar, in his reply, said this policy is there, but it's only on paper. When people visit the vaccination Centre, they always insist on presentation of Aadhaar card in order to move the process of vaccination against Covid-19 forward.
“Aadhaar card is not the only ID which they are accepting. You can also register with a Driving Licence, PAN card, Voter's Card, Ration card and Passport. You can verify yourselves, we may keep this matter pending,” the bench said.
The counsel insisted that the same order be passed as was passed by Meghalaya High Court in July, asking the state government not to insist on Aadhaar card as the only proof of identification for administering COVID-19 vaccination, according to PTI.
The plea has sought effective enforcement of rules in the entire country in a uniform manner for the protection of the right to vaccination granted to citizens of India. It said that this very thing is dangerously endangered on account of denial of vaccination due to non-submission of Aadhaar card details to the concerned authority.
“Such actions are in blatant violation of right to life under Article 21 read with right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution and hence, the petitioner urges sympathetic indulgence of this court by way of issuing appropriate directions to direct the concerned authority to set aside the mandatory pre-condition of production of Aadhaar details from enabling administration of vaccination..,” the plea said.
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