Despite HC stay, CS orders implementation of Aadhar enabled attendance

Despite HC stay, CS orders implementation of Aadhar enabled attendance
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‘Chief Minister has taken compassionate view to release salary of employees for Eid”
SRINAGAR: Despite stay by the high court, the state’s Chief Secretary on Thursday ordered implementation of Aadhar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) in Jammu and Kashmir.
An official spokesman here said that the chief secretary B R Sharma has expressed displeasure about the non-installation of AEBAS in many offices across the State.
“The Chief Secretary has directed that the AEBAS be installed forthwith and implemented in all the government offices,” the spokesman said.
Expressing concern about the irregular attendance of a section of employees, the spokesman said that the Chief Secretary directed the Administrative Secretaries and Heads of Departments to ensure attendance of all the employees working in their respective departments and subordinate offices without fail.
“It was further directed that from the month of September 2016, salary of the employees who remain on unauthorized absence from duty shall not be released and action under rules be initiated against them,” the spokesman said.
However, in view of the ensuing festival of Eid-ul-Zuha, the Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti while taking a compassionate view in the matter directed the release of salary of all the government employees for the month of August 2016, the Chief Secretary was quoted as saying by the spokesman.
Earlier this year, the court stayed a government order making an Aadhar card mandatory for its employees to draw various entitlements including salary for the month of March and onwards.
Referring to Supreme Court of India’s order dated 15 October last year, the high court had said that the apex court has made possession of Aadhar card voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter was decided.
“Prima facie, it appears that government order (No. 35-F of 2016) has made possession of Aadhar Card mandatory,” the court said and stayed the operation of the government order (No 35 of 2016) dated 10 February 2016 till further orders. “To my understanding the stay has not been vacated by the court hitherto,” advocate Syed Musaib, one of the petitioners, told Kashmir Reader.
Aadhar is a 12-digit unique identity number issued by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), a government of India agency which was established by the Planning Commission in 2009.
The petitioner said that the apex court had rejected the Modi-led government’s request about the revocation of its earlier order and had in return directed it to widely publicise in print and electronic media that Aadhar is not mandatory for any welfare scheme.
The highest court has also referred the petitions, challenging possession of Aadhar to be mandatory, to a Constitutional Bench for deciding the issue of right of privacy, on whether it forms a part of fundamental rights or not.

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