The Delhi High Court Thursday asked the Centre to consider as representation a plea seeking linking of immovable and movable property documents of citizens with their Aadhaar numbers to curb corruption, black money generation, and ‘benami’ transactions.
A bench of justices Rajiv Shakdher and Girish Kathpalia said these are policy decisions and courts cannot ask the government to do this.
It said the representation shall be decided by the government within three months.
“How the courts can get into all this. These are policy decisions, how the courts can tell them to do this. Prima facie, what I don’t understand is that these are the areas we don’t have the complete picture or data, what are the various aspects that may emerge… Best is to let them treat it as a representation and let them decide,” Justice Shakdher said.
The court was hearing a petition by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who said it is the duty of the state to take appropriate steps to curb corruption and seize ‘benami’ properties amassed by illegal means to give a strong message that the government is determined to fight corruption and black money generation.
The high court had earlier granted time to the ministries of Finance, Law, Housing and Urban Affairs and Rural Development to file their responses to the petition.
The petition said, “If the government links property with Aadhaar, it will lead to an increment of two per cent in annual growth. It will clean out the electoral process, which is dominated by black money and benami transactions and thrives on a cycle of large black investments…use of political strength to amass private wealth, all with disdain of the citizen.”
The plea has claimed that ‘benami’ transactions in high denomination currency is used in illegal activities like terrorism, naxalism, gambling, money laundering etc.
“It also inflates the price of essential commodities as well as major assets like real estate and gold. These problems can be curbed up to a great extent by linking movable immovable properties with the owner’s Aadhaar number,” it has further claimed.
In an affidavit filed in the matter in 2019, the Delhi government has said Aadhaar is accepted as proof of identity for property registration and land mutation, but it is only an optional requirement and there is no provision in the law making it mandatory.