Aadhaar Card cannot be taken as a sole basis for proof of citizenship

Karnataka High Court: A bail petition under Section 439 of CrPC was decided by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Budihal R.B., J. wherein it was held that Section 9 of the Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 itself shows that Aadhaar number cannot be taken as a sole basis to decide domicile; it requires other authenticated documents.

The petitioner was accused of illegally living in this country as she was a Bangladeshi citizen. In support of her claim that she was an Indian citizen, the petitioner produced her Aadhaar card as a proof. However, the trial court did not believe the case of the petitioner and rejected her bail petition. Learned Assistant Solicitor General of India submitted that the petitioner was illegally staying in the country without a passport and a visa. He also submitted that Aadhar Card cannot be the proof of citizenship of the petitioner.

The question before the Court was whether the Aadhaar card can be a proof of citizenship. The High Court perused Section 9 of the Aadhar Act, 2016 and was of the opinion that Aadhaar card cannot be the sole basis for the proof of citizenship or regarding domicile. It required other authenticated documents to be produced by the petitioner to prove the same. Such documents include particulars of date of birth, place of birth, name of parents, etc. The High Court found that the petitioner was not able to produce any such document, nor was she able to produce the Ration Card. Even her statement was full of contradictions. Accordingly, the petition was rejected. [Khadija alias Swapna alias Khadija Khanom v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 6014 of 2017, order dated 5.12.2017]

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