The High Court of Telangana directed the state government to delete all the references related to Aadhaar numbers and caste from the registration manual and from the software of registration of non-agricultural properties. On Thursday, a division bench also directed the state government to take measures so as to stop the slot bookings and give PTIN for the registrations till the user manual has been updated.
The bench made it clear that the court is concerned about the protection and security of sensitive data, such as Aadhaar numbers of the people. It however, allowed the government to proceed with the registration without seeking the information of buyers, sellers and witnesses' Aadhaar and caste.
Other documents can be asked as the proof of identification by the registration authorities. The bench pointed out that the manual specifically states that their Aadhaar information must be revealed by the buyer, seller and witnesses, which is in breach of the government's undertaking submitted to the court.
The bench, consisting of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, issued the orders in a batch of petitions questioning the decision of the state government to seek information from Aadhaar, caste and family members for Dharani portal in the view of registration of non-agricultural properties. The bench also found fault with the contents of the counter affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary in which it was stated that revealing Aadhar details is optional.
The bench recalled that during the last hearing - on 10th December, the State Attorney General (AG) had given an assurance that the state would not ask for the details of Aadhaar and caste.
According to livelaw updates, "The State is seeking information through a clever subterfuge in the garb of slot booking, and in the garb of applying for PTIN. Such a clever ploy is clearly in violation of the undertaking given by the state to befool this court."
Senior advocate D Prakash Reddy, appearing for one of the petitioners, said that despite the court restricting the state from obtaining the information, the government did not bother to revise the manual. The bench instructed the government to put the updated manual before the court by the next hearing date, which is likely to be the end of this month.