NEW DELHI: The CPI-M has urged the government to stop making Aadhaar linkages mandatory to avail basic services and also criticized the Supreme Court for delaying a ruling on the contentious issue.
"The only way out of the impasse is to stop making Aadhaar mandatory for all basic services," an editorial in the CPI-M organ "People's Democracy" said. "The government must reverse its order to link all bank accounts and mobile telephones to Aadhaar."
The Communist Party of India-Marxist also pointed out that petitions against Aadhaar had been pending before the Supreme Court for the past five years.
"The Court has been lackadaisical in addressing this vital issue in time. During this period, the government has gone ahead with making Aadhaar a totalitarian and compulsory system.
"A five-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, set up in November 2017, is now hearing the petitions. The court should give its verdict at the earliest in this matter as it is of vital concern for the people and democratic liberties in the country."
The editorial followed an expose in The Tribune newspaper as to how one of its reporters could get access to details of more than one billion Aadhaar numbers -- for just Rs 500. The report debunked the stand of UIDAI and the government that its database cannot be breached.
The CPI-M said it had opposed the Aadhaar project even when it was begun by the UPA government due to the involvement of two American companies in preparing the software design for the UID system.
Thus, already the database of Aadhaar card holders has been available to these American companies which are linked to US security agencies, the editorial said.
Making Aadhaar mandatory for receiving PDS rations and social security benefits had also caused misery to the poor, it said.
"The government is now insisting on the Aadhaar identification for all spheres of life, including registration of birth and deaths. Things have gone to such an extent that some government hospitals are demanding an Aadhaar card identification before admitting a patient. Without Aadhar identification, one will cease to be a citizen.
"The attitude of the government and the UIDAI is evident from the fact that a case has been registered against The Tribune and its reporter for breach of security of Aadhaar.
"Instead of acknowledging that the Aadhaar is a faulty and imperfect system, the government is seeking to shoot the messenger and attack the freedom of the press."