Letter to the Kerala Government to withdraw mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for Covid-19 vaccination of frontline workers

It has come to SFLC.in's notice that State Mission Director, NHM State Mission Office has issued letter No. NHM/3821/ADMIN1/2020/SPMSU (II) dated 19.05.2021 making Aadhaar mandatory for vaccination of Covid-19 frontline workers.

SFLC.in wrote a letter to inform the Government of Kerala that this step is in violation of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Justice Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2019 (1) SCC 1) wherein it was held that Aadhaar is mandatory only for:

a. filing IT returns; and

b. for availing government subsidies from the Consolidated Fund of India.

The Supreme Court also struck down S. 57 of the Aadhaar Act which permitted use of Aadhaar by the State or any body corporate or person, in pursuance to any contract. The Supreme Court categorically recognized certain data protection principles such as data minimization, purpose limitation , data retention and data security as relevant factors in determining whether the provisions of particular legislation are in conformance with an individual's right to privacy. The Government of Kerala has not justified this in the terms of any of these principles.

Any steps taken by the Government must be constitutionally tenable and in consonance with the law laid down in the Puttaswamy II (2019)case.

Through this letter, SFLC.in urged the Government of Kerala to withdraw the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for vaccination of Covid-19 frontline workers. The vaccination process must be universal and unhindered by identity cards or tech barriers.