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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre to file reply on a plea seeking linking of immovable and movable property documents of citizens with their Aadhaar numbers to curb corruption, black money generation, and ‘benami’ transactions.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Yashwant Varma granted four weeks to the ministries of Finance, Law, Housing and Urban Affairs and Rural Development to file their responses to the petition.

The bench, which orally observed that “it a good matter and let replies come”, listed the matter for further hearing on July 18.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma along with Central government standing counsel Manish Mohan, representing the Centre, termed the issue as an important one.

Petitioner and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay said it is the duty of the state to take appropriate steps to curb corruption and seize ‘benami’ properties amassed by illegal means to give a strong message that the government is determined to fight corruption and black money generation.

“If the government links property with Aadhaar, it will lead to an increment of two per cent in annual growth. It will clean out electoral process, which is dominated by black money and benami transaction and thrives on a cycle of large black investments…use of political strength to amass private wealth, all with disdain of the citizen,” the petition has said.

The plea has claimed that ‘benami’ transaction in high denomination currency is used in illegal activities like terrorism, naxalism, gambling, money laundering etc.

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“It also inflates the price of essential commodities as well as major assets like real estate and gold. These problems can be curbed up to a great extent by linking movable-immovable properties with the owner’s Aadhaar number,” it has further claimed.

In an affidavit filed in the matter in 2019, the Delhi government has said Aadhaar is accepted as proof of identity for property registration and land mutation, but it is only an optional requirement and there is no provision in the law making it mandatory.

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