HC stays Aadhaar Based Biometric Attendance order

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Tuesday stayed a second government order making Aadhar Card mandatory for its lakhs of employees for biometric attendance.

A division bench of Chief Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey today stayed the second government order making the procurement of Aadhaar Card mandatory for state  employees for the purpose of Aadhaar Based Biometric Attendance in a fresh PIL no. 16/16.

Earlier, the said bench had quashed the first such government order making Aadhaar mandatory on the bases of interim orders issued by Supreme Court from time to time.

The present writ petition as per its petitioners “is being filed in the interest of public, challenging the arbitrary, capricious and unlawful part (i) of the government order OM No: GAD (Adm) 175/2006-Part file, dated 01.09.2016”.

The respondent state government has made procurement of Aadhar Card mandatory for government employees, which is in clear contravention of the Constitutional-bench order of the Supreme Court in Justice K.S Puttaswamy (Retd) & Anr. V. Union of India & Ors (2015 10 SCC 92), added the petitioners.

Their petition further said that the fresh government order was also violation of the previous three Judge Bench order (2015 8SCC 735) dated 11.08.2015, in the same manner and also violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India as applicable to state of J&K.

It is mentionable that on 10th of February 2016 the state government had passed an order No. 35-F of 2016  saying that government employees, pensioners and various other people who were drawing their legal entitlements from the government have to get themselves enrolled in Aadhaar system to be able to draw their entitlements.

The J&K High Court had quashed the said government order by virtue of PIL NO. 01/2016 titled as Syed Musaib & Anr Vs State of J&K on 3rdof August 2016.

However, despite the High Court stay orders, the state Chief Secretary had subsequently ordered implementation of Aadhar enabled attendance system for the government employees.

 “The Chief Secretary has directed that the AEBAS be installed forthwith and implemented in all the government offices,” the government spokesman said.

Expressing concern about the irregular attendance of a section of employees, the Chief Secretary had directed the administrative secretaries and heads of departments to ensure attendance of all the employees working in their respective departments and subordinate offices without fail.

The government order further had directed that from the month of September 2016, salary of the employees who remain on unauthorized absence from duty shall not be released and action under rules be initiated against them.