The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) informed the Madras High Court on Wednesday that no Aadhaar data, more particularly the cell phone numbers of voters in Puducherry, has been furnished to the BJP for campaigning for the April 6 elections.
When a PIL petition from Anand, president of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) came up on Wednesday, UIDAI counsel told Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy that no compromise was made on this issue.
The court said India should be able to proudly tell the world that the nation is a successful democracy despite issues like poverty, adding, its image takes a beating whenever malpractices happen in elections.
The counsel representing the Puducherry unit of the BJP told the judges that the party did not steal any mobile phone data.
It was collected by its Karyakartas (partymen) over a long period. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had used innovative methods of sending SMS to voters with a link to join booth level WhatsApp groups.
However, the bench felt that such an innovative method should also have been used after obtaining the permission of the Election Commission, as per the model code of conduct, which is in force.
It also said that a level playing field should be created, so that the elections are held freely and fairly.
"We must be able to hold our heads high and tell the world that we are a successful democracy despite many problems such as poverty. The image of our country takes a beating whenever malpractices happen in elections."
"We are surrounded by instances such as military junta and dictatorship. We should be proud to be a democracy, despite having been under colonial rule for 200 years and facing several problems even now," the judges added and adjourned the matter by a day.