The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central government on a petition challenging the implementation of the unique identification or "Aadhar" cards scheme on the ground that it violates the privacy of applicants.
The plea said the scheme was "highly invasive" and raised serious concerns regarding critical personal and biometric information.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru, issuing notice to ministry of planning also asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) through Planning Commission and the Delhi government to file their responses by Nov 6.
NGO Beghar Mazdoor Foundation said providing personal and biometric information was a violation of the "right to privacy" which forms an integral part of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution.
The plea sought destruction of all the personal and biometric data collected under the UID scheme and a stay on the implementation of the project.
The plea challenged the implementation of the UID scheme pursuant to the notification dated Jan 28, 2009.
The notification said the UIDAI was empowered to issue UID or "Aadhar" number to every resident of India, by collecting demographic and biometric information that was uniquely personal to every individual.
The plea, filed along with human rights activist Indu Prakash Singh, pleaded that the possession of UID or "Aadhar" card would not be made mandatory for access to any state provided service or facility.
"Due to implementation of the UID scheme without any legal authority or framework many citizens in Delhi, especially those who are poor and marginalised, have been rendered ineligible from availing the services and schemes offered by the state," said the petition.
It added: "The insistence of the Delhi government on UID being only acceptable proof of identity had rendered other proofs such as voter ID cards and ration cards redundant."
The ministry of home affairs too had identified several flaws in the enrolment process of the UID scheme, it alleged.