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Puducherry: BJP denies accessing Aadhaar data for votes

Madras HC has urged the political party and the Election Commission to safeguard credibility of Indian democracy and fair elections

Sabrangindia 31 Mar 2021

BJP denies accessing Aadhaar data for votes

In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed over illegal use of Aadhaar data for votes by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Puducherry, the Madras High Court appealed to “all stakeholders, within and outside the courtroom to ensure that the credibility of the Indian democratic system is not dented”, as per Bar & Bench.

The Puducherry BJP, through Senior Advocate V Karthic, asserted that they have not “stolen any data”, and that the numbers used were available in the public domain. According to Bar & Bench, appearing for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Advocate V Chandrasekaran submitted that there has been no tampering of any records with the authority, adding that this may be taken on record.

In context of the upcoming elections, the Madras High Court reiterated that elections should be carried out in a fair and just manner. B&B quoted Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee saying, “If the credibility of the system is dented, then the image of the country takes a beating. I don’t think anyone in the courtroom or outside wants that to happen. We are such an example. Look to the right, left, top, bottom -we don’t have credible democracies - dictatorships, military mundas…Despite our poverty, colonial rule - we have developed, progressed we have liberties and we have given meaning to what right to life is. It is something that the world needs from us… We hope the high standards would be maintained, that is the only endeavour. People must have confidence in the system, people must know at the end of the day that they have their government that they chose. That is how there can be credibility.”

In the previous hearing on March 26, the Madras High Court had opined, “It is apparent that the sixth respondent political party (BJP) may have resorted to a form of campaigning not permissible under the model code of conduct. It is also evident that personal details of voters and citizens may have been obtained by such political parties and put to use for campaign purposes.”

The Bench also comprising Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed the Election Commission to take “immediate action” if such allegations were true. The court had also expressed its shock over UIDAI’s failure to protect the data of citizens in its system.

The case is related to a petition moved by the President of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Puducherry, A. Anand, who has alleged that bulk SMS messages were sent to Puducherry voters whose mobile numbers were linked to Aadhaar with a link to join WhatsApp groups run by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

(To be updated with order)

Related:

BJP may have accessed personal information for votes in Puducherry: Madras HC

Madras HC expresses concern over plea alleging BJP Puducherry illegally using Aadhaar data for votes

Puducherry: BJP denies accessing Aadhaar data for votes

Madras HC has urged the political party and the Election Commission to safeguard credibility of Indian democracy and fair elections

BJP denies accessing Aadhaar data for votes

In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed over illegal use of Aadhaar data for votes by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Puducherry, the Madras High Court appealed to “all stakeholders, within and outside the courtroom to ensure that the credibility of the Indian democratic system is not dented”, as per Bar & Bench.

The Puducherry BJP, through Senior Advocate V Karthic, asserted that they have not “stolen any data”, and that the numbers used were available in the public domain. According to Bar & Bench, appearing for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Advocate V Chandrasekaran submitted that there has been no tampering of any records with the authority, adding that this may be taken on record.

In context of the upcoming elections, the Madras High Court reiterated that elections should be carried out in a fair and just manner. B&B quoted Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee saying, “If the credibility of the system is dented, then the image of the country takes a beating. I don’t think anyone in the courtroom or outside wants that to happen. We are such an example. Look to the right, left, top, bottom -we don’t have credible democracies - dictatorships, military mundas…Despite our poverty, colonial rule - we have developed, progressed we have liberties and we have given meaning to what right to life is. It is something that the world needs from us… We hope the high standards would be maintained, that is the only endeavour. People must have confidence in the system, people must know at the end of the day that they have their government that they chose. That is how there can be credibility.”

In the previous hearing on March 26, the Madras High Court had opined, “It is apparent that the sixth respondent political party (BJP) may have resorted to a form of campaigning not permissible under the model code of conduct. It is also evident that personal details of voters and citizens may have been obtained by such political parties and put to use for campaign purposes.”

The Bench also comprising Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed the Election Commission to take “immediate action” if such allegations were true. The court had also expressed its shock over UIDAI’s failure to protect the data of citizens in its system.

The case is related to a petition moved by the President of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Puducherry, A. Anand, who has alleged that bulk SMS messages were sent to Puducherry voters whose mobile numbers were linked to Aadhaar with a link to join WhatsApp groups run by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

(To be updated with order)

Related:

BJP may have accessed personal information for votes in Puducherry: Madras HC

Madras HC expresses concern over plea alleging BJP Puducherry illegally using Aadhaar data for votes

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