Plea alleges BJP, Puducherry is using Aadhaar data to boost political mileage: Madras High Court expresses concern

In the Madras High Court, a petition has been filed calling for a court-monitored probe into whether the Bharatiya Janata Party has been illegally using Aadhaar data of voters in Puducherry to gain political mileage in this election season.

The plea states that Puducherry residents had started receiving SMSs from BJP Puducherry with an invite link to join WhatsApp groups, that were later found to have been run by persons in other BJP-ruled States.

A Division Bench stated that the Election Commission could not simply pass the buck in this matter by stating that the case is being probed by the cyber crimes division.

The Court directed the Commission to file a report in this matter, when the matter will be heard next. The Court observed that the allegation raised were of serious concern.

The petitioner stated that the SMSs were being sent to all regions of Puducherry.Along with this, the petitioner also mentioned that spam calls were being made and he too received a call.

The petitioner goes on to state that he was shocked to find out from others that this was only being down with persons who had numbers linked to Aadhaar. He notes that the electoral data shared with Chief Electoral Officers also do not contain mobile numbers, but rather only the names and photos of voters.

The petitioner has accused the BJP Government of having failed to perform their duties and have infringed the privacy of voters for personal and political interests. He further stated no action has been taken by cybercrime officials in this matter.

The petitioner has requested in his petition to conduct an investigation by an external agency. It was also highlighted that the alleged actions violate the Information Technology Act, the Aadhaar Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The petitioner has requested the Court to direct the election authorities to abstain from insisting on the mandatory production of Aadhar for any service. In this regard, the petitioner has also raised concerns over the recent proposal announced by Union Law Minister RS Prasad to link Aadhaar with electoral rolls.

The matter is scheduled to be heard on March 26.

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