A PIL was filed due to serious breach by the sixth respondent
political party in how it conducted its campaign in Puducherry for the
forthcoming Assembly elections.
Bulk SMS/messages/voice messages were sent on the electronic media by the sixth respondent political party, which amounted to resorting to campaign on the electronic media without obtaining previous permission of the Election Commission in such regard.
According to petitioner, messages were received on telephone numbers that were linked to the Aadhar and not on other telephones or mobile phones which were not linked to the Aadhar. The Unique Identification Authority of India is a party to the present proceedings and such authority has maintained that no breach was detected in the security protecting information that such authority retains.
The court stated that: “This is the more serious matter of the privacy of the citizens being breached. This huge aspect of the matter should not be lost in the politics of the season or the hullabaloo of the attendant campaigning.”
Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy also stated that “There is no doubt that such body would treat and guard information regarding citizens that it possesses with a degree of responsibility and an appropriate inquiry would be conducted to ascertain the source of the leak, if any. It is completely unacceptable that such information would have been obtained by karyakartas as suggested by the sixth respondent political party.”
The matter will appear six weeks hence June 11th and after the forthcoming elections are done and dusted, for appropriate answers to be received. It needs to be emphasized that it is the stand of Election Commission that such Commission “is under the constitutional
mandate … to protect the privacy and profiling of electors and … shall
take all precautionary measures”.