Aadhaar not a valid document for proof of age, says high court

Aadhaar not a valid document for proof of age, says high court

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that the Aadhaar card cannot be used for proof of age as no documentary details are usually sought at the time of applying for the Unique Identity Development Authority of India’s (UIDAI’s) verifiable 12-digit identification number.

Justice Amol Rattan Singh of the HC passed the order while hearing a petition filed by a runaway couple from Haryana’s Jind district. The court also ordered the state authorities to determine the actual age of the girl and take legal action if her age was found to be false.

“There is no firm proof of age of either of the petitioners other than their Aadhaar cards, which is actually no proof as no documentary proof is usually asked for at the time of applying for the Aadhaar card or the issuance thereof. Hence, if upon actual verification the age of the petitioners, especially petitioner No. 1 (girl), is found to be below marriageable age in terms of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, this order will not bar proceedings under the provisions of that act, all offences punishable under the provisions of the said act being cognisable in terms of Section 15 thereof,” the HC said.

Justice Amol Rattan, however, ordered the Jind police to protect the couple.

In this case, the couple from Jind, who had married against the wishes of the girl’s family on August 26, had approached the court seeking protection of life and liberty from their family and relatives. The court was clear that it would not rely on the Aadhaar cards presented by the couple as proof of their age.