Not issuing caste certificate without Aadhar unlawful

New Delhi, December 12: Refusing to issue caste certificate without Aadhar card is unlawful and against the Supreme Court orders in this regard, Central Information Commission has held issuing show cause notice to Delhi government official.

The Commission held that Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Patel Nagar also violated Right to Information Act by not declaring suo-moto that Aadhar had been made mandatory for those seeking caste certificate.

The case relates to one Indra Singh who applied for caste certificate in 2012 when Aadhar card was not a requirement.

The official submitted that the ambitious project of UPA government was later made mandatory for the caste certificate and computer software rejects caste certificate unless Aadhar number is fed into it.

“It is a serious policy issue which is affecting the people and creating the difficulties in getting the caste certificate,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.

He said the Department has not made any public announcement about the requirement of Aadhar card for issuing the certificate which should have been done in accordance with the proactive disclosure clause of the RTI Act.

“Refusing to issue caste certificate on the ground of not having Aadhar card is unlawful and against the orders of the Supreme Court,” Acharyulu said.

He said non-disclosure of obligatory information under Section four compels the people to pay Rs 10 and seek information under section 4 which is against the spirit of the RTI Act.

Acharyulu said it is breach of principles of natural justice to deny the certificate which people were getting without informing them the change in requirement.

“Whether a person is eligible to get Aadhar card or not, he would certainly be eligible to get certification of caste.

The PIO cannot take the excuse of absence of Aadhar card to deny the rights of the people. This was made very specific by the Supreme Court on various occasions,” he said.

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