Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Regional Office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has served notices to certain citizens to appear before an inquiry officer as the office has received complaints/allegations against them that they are not citizens of India and have obtain ed the Aadhaar card through false pretences. They have been asked to appear before an inquiry officer on February 20 at a function hall in Balapur.
This has created chaos and uncertainty among people. A resident of the Old City who did not want to be named said that he had received such a notice dated February 3 with the signature of Amita Bindroo, Deputy Director/Inquiry Officer. He alone of all his family received the notice.
The notice says: ‘Whereas the office has received a complaint/allegation that you are not an Indian National and you have obtained Aadhaar Card 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 complaint/allegation.’
He was directed to appear before the enquiry officer on February 20 at the Mega Gardens, Royal Colony, Balapur with all necessary documents in original to prove his claim of citizenship and if he is not an Indian national, prove that he has entered the territory of Indian legally and his stay is valid. He was warned that if he failed to appear in person or produce the documents in original it will be construed as having no defence against the said complaint/allegation and the matter shall be decided suo moto and accordingly his Aadhaar card will be deactivated under Rule 29 of the Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations 2016.
Secretary of the United Action Committee, Mujahid Hashmi, said this notice raises many doubts about the status of the Aadhaar card. He questioned whether UIDAI has any authority to decide the nationality of an individual, and, if not, how can an inquiry officer of UIDAI issue a notice to someone to prove his claim of citizenship? Should the inquiry officer reject the claim of a cardholder based on his findings, then does it mean the card holder loses his citizenship? Moreover, he said that holding an enquiry in a function hall indicates that such notices have been issued to a large number of citizens. This will create unnecessary fear among citizens at a time when large numbers of people are agitating against the various citizenship laws which are discriminatory.