The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on a petition seeking directions to eliminate the mandatory pre-condition of submitting Aadhaar details in the CO-WIN portal for the COVID-19 vaccination centre and vaccinator while verifying an individual for the administration of the vaccine.
A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud sought response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and UIDAI on the matter.
The plea also sought direction that directing the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to make the necessary changes to the Co-WIN portal in consonance with the relief sought.
It further sought direction from the Centre to update the Co-WIN portal with appropriate software and technical know-how rendering the same user-friendly, easy to use and access for all the citizens of India.
The plea urged that authorities should not insist on the production of the Aadhaar card as the only proof of identification for the purpose of administering COVID-19 vaccination.
The plea said that contrary to the practical actions of MoHFW, recently another Standard operating procedure (SOP) guideline has been issued by it wherein it directs the provision of vaccination for even those persons who do not possess any of the seven prescribed photo ID cards as mentioned in the CoWIN portal.
“While such appreciable policies are being formulated on paper by the MoHFW, the absolutely contradictory conduct of making the Aadhaar details mandatory at the verification stage before administering vaccination on the vaccinator’s access page renders such policies a hoax creating serious doubts over the real objective of the Ministry,” the plea added.
The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Siddharthshankar Sharma, a Pune based lawyer and social activist.