Potential of infringing child’s right to privacy: HC on Aadhaar mandate for EWS admissions in Delhi

New Delhi, Sep 21: IANS Upholding a single judge’s order, the Delhi High Court has held that the two city government circulars – mandating the furnishing of an Aadhaar card for a child in the online admission process for private schools under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) or Disadvantaged Group (DG) category - were prima facie in conflict with constitutional provisions and had the potential to infringe on the child's right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

A father had filed a plea, stating that his 5-year-old child was unable to participate in the online admission process because he did not possess an Aadhaar card.

A single judge bench of Anup Jairam Bhambani had stayed the circulars, observing that a child could not be compelled to hold an Aadhaar card, and denying access to education based on this requirement was impermissible.

It was the government’s argument that this requirement aimed to prevent duplicate admission applications and ensure accurate identification.

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula upheld the single judge's order, emphasising that it was an interim order, and the single judge was yet to take a final view on the matter.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s ruling in K.S. Puttaswamy case, the court said that obtaining sensitive personal details of a child would have the potential of infringing their right to privacy.

"It would thus suffice to state that the impugned Circulars are prima facie in conflict with the constitutional provisions, effect whereof has rightly been stayed by learned Single Judge," the bench said, dismissing the government's appeal against Justice Bhambhani’ s July 27 order staying the operation of circulars issued last year on July 12 and February 2 of the current year.

The single judge is scheduled to hear the plea on November 6.



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Title: Potential of infringing child’s right to privacy: HC on Aadhaar mandate for EWS admissions in Delhi

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