• Supreme Court Orders Issuance Of Aadhaar Card To Sex Workers

    National

    A bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao ruled that the sex workers' privacy must be respected and that their identity should not be disclosed.



    Digital Desk: On Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered that sex workers be provided Aadhaar cards based on a proforma certificate issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), stating that everyone has the right to be treated with respect.


    A bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao ruled that the sex workers' privacy must be respected and that their identity should not be disclosed.


    "Sex workers shall be issued Aadhaar cards based on a proforma certificate issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and submitted by a gazetted officer at the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) or the project director of the State AIDS Control Society along with the enrolment form," the bench, which also included Justices B R Gavai and A S Bopanna, said.


    The bench noted in passing the order that "Regardless of the activity, everyone has the right to be treated with decency. This is something to keep in mind."


    The UIDAI had previously suggested to the Supreme Court that sex workers could be issued Aadhaar Cards without providing proof of identity if they produced a certificate issued by a Gazetted Officer of NACO or a Gazetted Officer of the respective State Governments/Union Territories' Health Department. 


    Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had ordered states and union territories to continue the process of identifying sex workers who do not have proof of identity and are deprived of ration distribution.


    "The State Governments must work with the Community Based Organization rather than relying solely on NACO's lists to carry out the Court's previous orders. Apart from ration cards, state governments must take measures to offer voter identification cards to sex workers recognized by NACO and Community Based Organizations when the lists are verified, "The Supreme Court had previously stated.


    Hearing a petition about the issues encountered by sex workers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has issued decisions for their welfare, including one on September 29 last year, asking the Centre and others to distribute dry rations to them without demanding proof of identity.


    The petition emphasized the hardships encountered by sex workers as a result of Covid-19 and requested assistance for over nine lakh female and transgender sex workers across India.


    The Court ordered that authorities might enlist the help of NACO and state AIDS control societies, who will compile a list of sex workers after validating the information provided by community-based organizations.


    On September 29, 2020, the Supreme Court ordered all states to supply dry rations to sex workers identified by NACO without demanding proof of identity and requested a status update on implementation.

     

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