‘Mandatory Aadhaar contempt of court’

Aurangabad: The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary Higher Secondary Education’s (MSBSHSE) decision to make mentioning of Aadhaar card numbers while filling examination forms mandatory for SSC and HSC students has not gone down well with the experts, who have termed the move as “contempt of court”.

In a letter addressed to the state chief secretary, educational counsellor and activist Vivek Velankar, said the move was shocking and it disrespects repeated orders of the judiciary, including that of the Supreme Court.

“We tried to draw chief secretary’s attention towards the recent Supreme Court order of September 14, where the court clearly asked the Centre to remove Aadhaar number as a mandatory condition for student registration form at the National Scholarship Portal. Earlier, the apex court, on October 16 last year had stated the Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided. The chief secretary, therefore, must prevail upon the MSBSHSE for de-linking examination form-filling with Aadhaar,” said Velankar, who is associated with advocacy group Sajag Nagarik Manch.
He said the use of Aadhaar for any purposes other than that allowed by the court was a clear case of contempt of court.
“We have requested the authorities to immediately withdraw the controversial circular. If necessary action is not taken, we will be compelled to approach the court for,” said Sajag Nagarik Manch.
When contacted, MSBSHSE chairman Gangadhar Mhamane said, “The Aadhaar card number of every student is going to be required for further academic purposes, including disbursement of scholarships. Still, we are considering ways so that SSC and HSC students need not have to suffer any academic loss,” he said, adding that a formal announcement would be made soon. Mhamane, however, refused to divulge. “Extending deadline for filling up examination forms could be one of the options to offer relief,” he said.