The Telangana government cannot insist on collecting Aadhaar and caste details from property owners through its Dharani land records portal, the Telangana High Court has declared. In a major setback to the state government's plan to digitise land records in the state, the court has issued a stay, directed it to not collect any details from non-agricultural land owners on the Dharani portal. The court's order, issued on Monday but made public on late Tuesday evening, flagged the use of Aadhaar for purposes not involving welfare schemes, and for the complete absence of provisions to ensure data security. The two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan, held that the government's mandate was violative of the right to privacy, as established in the Puttaswamy judgement. The Dharani portal is part of the state government's grand scheme for land reform in Telangana. Digitisation was supposed to address corruption across the system. Over October, the government went on a publicity drive, calling on citizens who own any kind of land to enter their property ownership details on the portal. Aadhaar and caste details (only confined to broad categories such as OC, SC and ST) were made mandatory. In October, two separate public interest litigations (PIL) and a writ petition were filed in the court, asking for the court to declare the collection of Aadhaar from property owners and their family members as "unconstitutional". One of the PILs also asked for the court directions to the government to delete all personal information…
Telangana govt can’t insist on collecting Aadhaar, caste details on land records portal, declares High Court
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