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HC directs Centre to file affidavit on PIL alleging deactivation of Aadhaar cards

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to file an affidavit on a PIL alleging deactivation of Aadhaar cards of people by the authorities concerned.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Ashoke Chakrabarti questioned the maintainability of the PIL, stating that no individual case of any person affected by such a deactivation has been cited in the petition.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam directed the Centre to file the affidavit within three weeks stating its position on the allegation made in the PIL, which claimed that Aadhaar cards of people were being deactivated in an arbitrary manner using provisions under Section 28A of the Aadhaar Act.

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Directing the petitioner to file their affidavit a week after that, the bench, also comprising Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, said that the matter will be taken up for hearing again on April 25.

The ASG submitted that section 28A of the Aadhaar Act deals with foreign nationals only.

He stated that such foreign nationals were coming to India and illegally obtaining Aadhaar cards in collusion with some government departments, creating a huge national security problem for the authorities.

The petitioner’s counsel Jhuma Sen submitted that the provisions for deactivation of Aadhaar cards under Section 28A were outside the purview of the Aadhaar Act and were arbitrary in nature.

The PIL was filed by an organisation named Joint Forum against NRC.

Section 28A of the Aadhaar Act provides that a foreign national’s Aadhaar number may be deactivated upon expiry of the period of validity of their visa for stay in India or where the authority is satisfied that such a foreign national does not fulfil the requirements for his entry into or stay in India under the provisions of Passport Act.

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