NATIONAL

SC notice on Centre’s NPR notification

The entire exercise of creation and updation of the National Population Register is a gross invasion of privacy of private citizens, says petition

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the government’s response to a petition filed by three residents of Bihar to quash a Union Home Ministry notification for the conduct of the National Population Register (NPR) exercise from April to September 2020.

A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, issued notice to the government on the petition filed by Udagar Ram, from Madhubani district in the State, and two others.

‘Invasion of privacy’

“The entire exercise of creation and update of the NPR is a gross invasion of the privacy of private citizens. The nature of the exercise is manifestly arbitrary with no grounds of ‘doubtfulness’ being specified, apart from no guarantee of protection and security of the data/information so collected. Such a database would erode basic freedoms that the persons within India currently enjoy,” the petition said.

The petition said Section 14-A of the Citizenship Act, 1955, and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, and the Home Ministry notification of July 31, 2019, for conduct of the NPR are violative of the fundamental rights.

Through the Citizenship Rules, 2003, the state seeks to invade the privacy of private persons without establishing that they were acting in an unlawful manner, it said.

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