- The Supreme Court allowed a UAE-based professional to approach the Bench, expected to be set up to hear the petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme, with his plea to exempt Non-Resident Indians from linking their bank accounts with Aadhaar.
- A Bench, led by Justice A.K. Sikri, took note of the plea by Femin Panikkassery Subramaniyan as the law allows only resident Indians to enrol for Aadhaar. Mr. Subramaniyan referred to the Prevention of Money-laundering, Second Amendment Rules, 2017, to submit that non-linking would lead to indefinite blocking of his bank accounts and he would be robbed of his hard-earned money for no fault of his.
- “As the things stand today a person residing in India alone can get enrolled for Aadhaar,” the petition said.
- The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 defines ‘resident’ as an individual “who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment”.
- “Thus the Aadhaar Act as it stands today does not permit Aadhaar enrolment of an NRI, PIO or any other class of Indian expatriates.
Some Facts & Figures:
- The present amendment has created untold miseries to the millions of expatriates including the petitioner.
- His financial base has been wrecked owing to the whims are vagaries of some Thuglakian administrators.
- Remittances to India stood at $72 billion in 2015, accounting for over 4% of the country’s GDP.
- Meanwhile, the same Bench allowed former Kerala minister Binoy Viswam to withdraw his petition challenging the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to file income tax returns. Mr. Viswam was however, given liberty to approach the Constitution Bench, which will hear the various petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme.