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SC Declines to Hear Congress’ Randeep Surjewala’s Challenge to Aadhaar-Voter ID Linking

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had filed a plea challenging provisions of the Election Laws 2021 that enable linking Voter ID and Aadhar card

In a 2-minute-long hearing today, the Supreme Court declined to hear Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala’s PIL challenging the constitutionality of Sections 4 and 5 of the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021. The Bench, comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna, directed the petitioner to challenge the law before a competent High Court.  The advocate appearing for Surjewala held that filing before different High Courts may lead to varied judicial outcomes. This is of concern to the petitioner as the law comes into force from August 1st—after which multiple elections are also scheduled to take place. Justice Chandrachud responded that if this happens, the Union may file a transfer petition before the Supreme Court, and the matters may be clubbed together before the competent High Court.  The strongly opposed law, notified by the Centre in June this year, allows electoral registration officers to request potential voters to furnish their Aadhaar numbers to establish their identity. It also adds that the officers may ‘require the Aadhaar number from persons already included in the electoral roll for the purposes of authentication.’ Echoing similar initiatives to link the two documents by the Election Commission of India in 2015, this law has been reportedly drafted to tackle the issue of ‘multiple enrolments of the same person at different places.’ Why it matters: With only six days to go till August 1st, it remains to be seen if Surjewala’s belated challenge (or the competent High Court) will act in time to stymie the law's potential fallouts.…

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