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SC issues notice to Modi government on fresh plea against updation of NPR

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday sought the Centre’s response on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of amended citizenship law and updation of the National Population Register (NPR), saying the data collection may lead to “unsanctioned state surveillance” and “is a gross invasion of privacy”.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, issued notice to the Centre on the PIL which also challenged the rules made in 2003 for registration of citizens and issuance of National Identity Cards.

The plea, filed by Udagar Ram, Bimalesh Kumar Yadav and Sanjay Safi, has said that the NPR updation is “arbitrary” as it puts citizens, non-citizens and persons seeking overseas citizenship “at par” asking the same information from the entire population residing within the country.

It has challenged the vires of Section 14-A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 which was inserted through an amendment in 2004 on the ground that this provision empowered the Centre to “compulsorily register” every citizen of India and to issue national identity card to one.