Representational image
Representational image

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) clarified that reports of some residents being served notices by the RO Hyderabad, over their Aadhaar being allegedly obtained on false pretences, were not being presented in the "correct perspective" in some media reports.

"There are news items in certain section of media regarding UIDAI issuing notices of inquiry to some residents for obtaining Aadhaar on false pretence on the complaints from the State Police which suspect them of being illegal immigrants. UIDAI clarifies that these reports are not presented in correct perspective and Aadhaar has got nothing to do with the citizenship issue as such," a press release by the UIDAI on Tuesday read.

The agency further said that RO Hyderabad had received reports from the state police of 127 people having obtained "Aadhaar on false pretences as in their preliminary enquiry they were found illegal immigrants", hence disqualifying them from obtaining the Aadhaar number.

"As per the Aadhaar Act, such Aadhaar numbers are liable to be cancelled. Therefore, the RO Hyderabad has sent notices to them to appear in person and to substantiate their claims for getting an Aadhaar number," the release added.

It further said that after the completion of the process, "if it is found and proved that if any of them has obtained Aadhaar by submitting false documents or through false pretences, then their Aadhaar is liable to be cancelled or suspended depending on the severity of the transgression. Severe errors like forged documents, etc, will lead to appropriate actions, including suspending or cancelling the Aadhaar." However, the agency clarified that this is a routine quality improvement process that is regularly taken up by it.

The release went on to add that "UIDAI has postponed the personal hearing to May 2020" from February 20, as it may take the 127 residents "some more time to collect their original documents that they had submitted for obtaining Aadhaar." Through the release, the agency also said that the Supreme Court of India in its landmark decision has directed UIDAI not to issue Aadhaar to illegal immigrants.

Three persons, all Muslims and residents of the old city of Hyderabad, have been asked to appear before the inquiry officer on February 20 along with necessary documents in original to prove their citizenship.

Auto-rickshaw driver Mohammed Sattar Khan is among those issued notices by the UIDAI. As they have been asked to appear at a function hall, it triggered speculations that a significant number of people may have received the notices.

Khan received a letter from UIDAI's regional office here, stating that it received a complaint/allegation that "you are not an Indian national and you have obtained Aadhaar through false pretences, making false claims and submitting false documents. An enquiry has been ordered by the regional office, UIDAI, Hyderabad to ascertain the veracity of the complaint/allegation".

He has been directed to appear before Amita Bindroo, deputy director/inquiry officer, with all necessary documents in original to prove "all your claims of citizenship and if you are not an Indian national, to prove that you have entered the territory of India legally and your stay is valid".

According to the notice, failure to appear in person and produce the documents in original will be construed that he had no defence against the complaint and the matter would be decided suo moto.

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Free Press Journal