Supreme Court issues notice on plea against Centre retaining Aadhaar card mandatory for Covid-19 vaccination

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a petition seeking direction to the Centre not to insist on mandation of Aadhaar Card for vaccination against Covid-19.

Counsel for the petitioner Mayank Kshirsagar submitted before a Supreme Court bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice B.V. Nagarathna that though one can register themselves with the passport or any other six options available at the COWIN portal while visiting the centre for vaccination, the concerned authority asks for Aadhaar card and denies administering vaccination, even when there are other valid Photo-IDs.

The petition stated that such actions of the authority are a blatant violation of the Right to Life under Article 21 read with Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India and seeks directions for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to make necessary changes to the Co-WIN portal in consonance with the elimination of pre-condition of submitting Aadhar details over Co-WIN portal for vaccination centre.

It is stated that as per the SOP declared by the Union government, the procedure for availing the vaccination from any centre was routed via the Co-Win app exclusively. As per the prescribed procedure, a citizen can register themselves on the Co-Win app or Aarogya Setu app by using any of the seven prescribed Photo ID proofs namely Aadhar Card, Passport, PAN Card, Driving Licence, Voter ID, NPR Smart Card and Pension document with photo. These entire photo IDs was allowed to be produced for verification and registration purposes & pertinently the only Photo ID which was used for the registration is required to be produced at the time of vaccination. It is further stated that as per the SOP no other ID except the one used for registration at Co-WIN is required during the vaccination to the concerned authority at the vaccination centre.

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The vaccine centres are connected with the Co-Win portal internally, however, when the petitioner who registered himself by using his passport went to the centre, he was not administered with vaccination due to the non-production of the Aadhar Card. When the petitioner along with several others protested, the authority present showed them that the Aadhar details are mandatory for verification.

The petitioner further stated that this situation is witnessed by the public at large and the unreasonable discrimination on account of the arbitrary condition imposed by the Union against their own prescribed procedure and policy of production of Aadhar details for availing vaccination has turned into a troublesome situation for the citizens.
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