Asia & Australia

November 20, 2018

Salary cannot be withheld over failure to link bank account with Aadhaar card: Bombay HC


On November 19, while hearing a petition filed by Ramesh Purale, a chargeman with the Mumbai Port Trust, whose salary had been withheld since 2016 by the Centre as he had not linked his salary account with his Aadhaar, a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justices A S Oka and S K Shinde ruled that his salary cannot be withheld over failure to link his bank account with his Aadhaar card.

Earlier in December 2015, the Union Ministry of Shipping had instructed Purale to link his bank account, in which his salary was being credited, with his Aadhaar card. Nevertheless, Purale cited his fundamental right to privacy and therefore refused to link his bank account with his Aadhaar card. From July 2016, he thus stopped getting his salary, following which he petitioned the HC.

Highlighting this issue, in November 2018, Purale filed an application in his petition relying on the Supreme Court's September 26 judgment on the Aadhaar issue.

Therefore, on November 19, considering Purale’s statements, the HC said, "How can you (Centre) take a stand that salary will not be given to an employee because his Aadhaar card is not linked to the salary account?"

Directing the government to pay the arrears to Purale, the court concluded, "We have perused the apex court's judgment. Prime facie, we are of the view that the petitioner's salary cannot be withheld on the ground that there is failure to link Aadhaar card with the bank account."

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