Bengaluru, Nov 28 – The Karnataka High Court has observed that a relationship in the form of marriage does not eclipse the right to privacy of a person, which is also recognised under the Aadhaar Act.
“The right to privacy of Aadhaar number holders preserves the autonomy of the individual’s right to privacy which is conferred primacy and admits of no exception under the statutory scheme. The relationship by marriage which is a union of two partners does not eclipse the right to privacy which is the right of an individual and the autonomy of such individual’s right stands recognized and protected by the procedure of hearing contemplated under Section 33,” the division bench of Karnataka High Court said.
The division bench comprises Justices Sunil Dutt Yadav and Vijaykumar A Patil.
The Court reasoned that such a right is protected by the procedure of hearing contemplated under Section 33 of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
The High Court had recently set aside a single-judge order directing the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to reconsider a woman’s application for details of her husband’s Aadhaar card under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act).
The woman had moved the UIDAI, seeking address details in her husband’s Aadhaar as the whereabouts of him were unknown, as she could not enforce the maintenance order. However, the UIDAI said that only a High Court judge can take a decision on this issue.
In February this year, a single judge of the Karnataka High Court directed the UIDAI to issue notice to the woman’s husband and after hearing him, reconsider the wife’s RTI application.
The UIDAI challenged the order in an appeal before the division bench of the High Court.
The division bench concluded that the matter could not have been sent back to the UIDAI and that it could only have been heard by the High Court or a superior court.
The division bench, therefore, remitted the case back to the single-judge. The division bench also said that the woman’s husband should be arrayed as a respondent in the case.
“A copy of the order is to be marked to the Registrar, High Court of Karnataka, Bengaluru for necessary attention,” the division bench added.