Claiming that Aadhaar impinges on his religious beliefs and was against the tenets of the Bible, a Christian man on Tuesday has sought exemption from applying for the 12-digit biometric ID from the Supreme Court.
In his petition, before a five-judge Constitution bench hearing the Constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act, petitioner John Abraham said: “It is clear that it is impossible for a person to go about their everyday lives without having an Aadhaar (number). Further, it is a biometric ID, with finger print and iris scan data…This is similar to the warning issued in the Book of Revelation. Various interpretations of the book note that the ‘beast’ is symbolic of modern day political power. The Book, at Chapter 14, warns that anyone who receives such a number will face dire consequences.”
The petitioner, however, maintained that he was not speaking for all Christians.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde told the bench that his client and his family were “devoted Christians” and were seeking exemption from Aadhaar enrolment “on the ground of their being ‘conscientious objectors’ to the same.”
In response, the bench asked if “a person (could) refuse to opt for the Income Tax saying that his conscience does not allow it?”
The CJI pointed that Article 25 of the Constitution that elaborates on the freedom of conscience “stands independent of individual conscience.” The government will commence its reply to a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act Wednesday.