Those who want to opt out of Aadhaar can visit the Khasi Students’ Union office in Shillong on October 29

Shillong: The Meghalaya People’s Committee on Aadhaar (MPCA), a body leading the Aadhaar opt-out campaign in the state, has decided to seek the Supreme Court’s nod for opting out of the 12-digit identification number system following the recent ruling passed by the apex court upholding its validity.

The MPCA will study the possibility of filing or becoming a party in filing a review petition before a larger Bench of the apex court seeking its approval for opting out of Aadhaar enrolment. The decision was taken at a public meeting held at the Khasi National Durbar Hall of Mawkhar in Shillong on Monday.

The MPCA leader, PBM Basaiawmoit, reportedly said that the campaign would begin with the 1,564 persons who had earlier written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and submitted representation before the Supreme Court to be allowed to opt out/ withdraw from the Aadhaar enrolment.

The others who want to opt out of Aadhaar can visit the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) office in Shillong on October 29, from 10 am onwards, to register their desire to keep themselves out of the system, the MPCA said.

The MPCA is an umbrella organisation of student and civil society groups which was also a party to the legal battle over Aadhaar that was settled by the Supreme Court late September. It filed two affidavits in the court challenging and questioning the government’s intention on collecting people’s biometric data.

While invasion of privacy remains to be the ground for people’s disapproval of Aadhaar, this disapproval has a religious connotation so far as Meghalaya is concerned, which has a majority population of Christians. As per the MPCA’s affidavit, having a unique identification number for every transaction is akin to being “marked by the devil in Christianity”.

Although the MPCA feels that the apex court’s recent judgement gives them the room to opt out of Aadhaar, the catch lies in the fact that the judgement actually makes it mandatory for everyone availing government subsidies or benefits and filing income tax returns to get enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme.

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