[Urbanstudy] Calls it ‘grave injustice’, goes to SC: Man refuses to obtain Aadhaar for self, family

Vinay Baindur yanivbin at gmail.com
Mon Sep 18 05:34:15 CDT 2017


   *Calls it ‘grave injustice’, goes to SC: Man refuses to obtain Aadhaar
   for self, family*

Son denied college admission, hospital treatment without it

Written by Ruhi Bhasin
<http://indianexpress.com/profile/author/ruhi-bhasin/> | Mumbai |
18, 2017 3:02 am
[image: John Abrahim, SC, Aadhaar, Mumbai Man Aadhaar Card Refused, Mumbai
Aadhaar Card, Mumbai News, Indian Express, Indian Express News]
[image: Advertisement]
John Abrahim

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Calling it “grave injustice”, Andheri resident John Abrahim has refused to
get an Aadhaar card for himself and his family. The impediments he faced in
the absence of the card — his son’s college admission, treatment in a
hospital, his retirement benefits — have hardly been a deterrent. “Making
me do something and making a single card the only reliable proof in the
county is grave injustice. I am against this system which is forcing me to
do something,” Abrahim said.

His 17-year-old son was allegedly denied admission to 12th standard in St
Xavier’s College for not possessing an Aadhaar card. Most recently, his son
also faced trouble getting treatment in a hospital in Andheri, which
requires Aadhaar as proof for registration of the patient’s name.

But the father is still adamant in his fight against the system. Recently,
after having taken voluntary retirement from the Indian Railways, he does
not know if he will be given his pension in the absence of an Aadhaar card.
In August this year, he had approached the Bombay High Court seeking
directions to grant admission to his son in 12th standard in St Xavier’s
College without furnishing his son’s Aadhaar card or that of his wife’s.
The High Court, however, refused to grant him any relief.

The court initially suggested that the petitioner John Abrahim submit the
Aadhaar card as required under various recent government resolutions. If he
did so, the court would consider issuing direction to the college and the
Trust — Bombay St Xavier’s College Society — which runs and manages the
college, to grant admission to his son besides granting a certain time for
submission of the Aadhaar card to the college.

Abrahim, however, informed the court later that he was unwilling to obtain
the Aadhaar card. “We fail to understand the instance of not obtaining the
Aadhaar card. It appears that the petitioner (Abrahim) is adamant and wants
to take a stand only for the purpose of adamancy. We are, therefore, not
inclined to grant an interim relief,” Justice B R Gavai had said.

He then approached the Supreme Court. On September 4, the apex court sought
a response from the Maharashtra government on the issue and granted two
weeks to do so. “They are making Aadhaar compulsory everywhere. What is the
point of insisting on it during admissions and denying my child his right
to education over it?” questioned Abrahim. He added that while half the
academic year for his son would be over during the time the apex court
decides on the issue, he would continue his fight against Aadhaar. His son
has now got admission in another college.

This is not the first instance of someone questioning the requirement of
Aadhaar for admissions. A Division Bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice A A
Sayyed had, in June 2016, dismissed a public interest litigation
challenging the government resolution (GR) issued on April 21, 2015, by
which every child, while securing admission to any school in the state, is
required to submit a copy of his or her Aadhaar card.

For Abrahim, the recent Right to Privacy judgment is a step towards helping
him in his fight against the system, “which is forcing him” to get the
Aadhaar card made by making it the only valid document required to be
linked right from bank accounts to telephone numbers.

While the Supreme Court’s ruling held that the Right to Privacy is a
fundamental right, it was only limited to that issue. The matter of whether
Aadhaar violates the right to privacy will be dealt with by the five-judge
bench hearing the petitions since 2015. “My son was recently ill. I took
him to a hospital near my residence in Andheri. Their file specifies that
Aadhaar card is mandatory to register the name of my child. I questioned
this and after arguing on the point with them, they finally conceded to
treating my son,” said Abrahim.

Abrahim said his wife, who used to work in Cooper Hospital, has no issues
in his fight against the system. “I have issues against Aadhaar on
religious grounds,” he said. ruhi.bhasin at expressindia.com
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