Court upholds use of biometrics for essential items in Haryana

Court upholds use of biometrics for essential items in Haryana

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8

“There is a lot of improvement in the situation as far as the pandemic is concerned,” the High Court has asserted, while making it clear that “life has to move forward”.

The observations came as the HC upheld Haryana’s decision to reintroduce biometrics authentication for distributing essential commodities, including ration.

The Bench asserted that discontinuing biometrics authentication was one of the precautionary steps taken in March, when the pandemic threat was at its highest.

Justice Harsimran Singh Sethi asserted: “The facts go to show that the threat is not at the same level now as it was in March, when the decision was taken to stop use of biometrics authentication for the distribution of essential commodities, including ration.”

Justice Sethi noted that the petitioners’ plea was required to be examined in the present scenario, which was different compared to March.

Justice Sethi observed that policy decisions, in view of the prevalent situation, were to be taken by the government and the court’s role under Article 226 was limited.

Justice Sethi asserted that judicial interference was only called for when policy decisions were without jurisdiction or contrary to public policy.

Justice Sethi stated that the decision was taken in larger interest and with particular motive to eliminate the chances of misappropriation and ensure the reaching of essential supplies and ration to those entitled.

Holding that the decision could not be dubbed as “arbitrary or illegal in any manner”, Justice Sethi observed that apprehension could be taken care by undertaking essential precautions while using biometrics. “No interference is called for by this court. No ground is made out. Dismissed,” Justice Sethi concluded.

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