NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea for contempt action against the Election Commission for seeking Aadhaar numbers to enrol new voters.
A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices Manoj Misra and Satish Chandra Sharma dismissed the plea having noted the EC's statement that it was addressing the issue.
The bench also noted that the earlier petition was disposed of last year, after the EC undertook that it was looking into the issue and that it had not set any timeline for compliance.
The plea claimed though the EC had given an assurance that Aadhaar numbers were not obligatory for new voter registration, the forms remained unchanged.
The bench, however, said that it was not a case for initiating contempt action.
The Election Commission had on September 21, 2023 told the court that furnishing of Aadhaar number would not be mandatory for registration of voters in electoral rolls.
The poll panel had said it would issue clarificatory changes in Forms 6 and 6B (for Registration in E-Roll) which required details of Aadhaar number for the purpose of electoral roll authentication for new voters.
It had said that the submission of the Aadhaar number was not mandatory under Rule 26-B of the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules 2022.
In response to a petition filed by G Niranjan of Telangana Pradesh Committee, the EC counsel had said nearly 66.23 crore Aadhaar numbers have already been uploaded in the process of finalising electoral rolls.
The court had then disposed of the petition, which questioned the validity of the requirement of furnishing the Aadhaar details with Form 6 (application form for new voters) and Form 6B (Letter of Information of Aadhaar number for the purpose of electoral roll authentication) of the ECI forms for registration in e-roll.
In June 2022, the Union government had notified the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules 2022 to allow linking Aadhaar numbers with electoral roll data.
The notifications were issued under the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 that was passed by Parliament in December 2021.