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Odisha man sues Modi after failing to get Aadhaar card despite 21 attempts

He says he ran out of patience after applying and getting photographed multiple times at different places for elusive card

A daily wager in Odisha’s Kandhamal district has moved the Lok Adalat against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he allegedly failed to get an Aadhaar card registered in his name despite 21 attempts.

Jitendra Kumar Sethy, a resident of Khetapaju village in Khajuripada block, took the unusual step for redressal of his grievance as he ran out of patience after applying and getting photographed multiple times at different places for the elusive card.

In a one-page petition filed before the permanent Lok Adalat in Phulbani, district headquarters of Kandhamal district, Mr. Sethy pointed out that he was not issued the card due to technical glitches in taking his fingerprint.

At the adalat, the man submitted identity proofs such as his voter identity card, job card issued under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and bank pass book.

“I am not able to access different government welfare schemes. I am being turned away by government offices as I don’t have an Aadhaar card,” said Mr. Sethy, who lives with three minor children, wife and ageing parents.

No other family members of his faced any issue for getting an Aadhaar card registered in their names.

“My photographs were taken 21 times. First, I stood in a queue at Khajuripada tahasil office. Later, I waited for five to six months. My father received his Aadhaar number, while my application was shown as rejected. Subsequently, I enrolled for an Aadhaar card at our Balaskumpa Panchayat office. It was again rejected,” he narrated.

Mr. Sethy was asked to register and get photographed several times in Phulbani. The man claimed to have met District Collectors more than once. Despite assurances by district authorities, he failed to secure the Aadhaar card each time.

“I was instructed to go to Bhubaneswar to enquire the reason behind repeated rejections. Being a daily-wage earner, I cannot afford to visit the capital city,” he said.

“Then, my well-wishers advised me to file a case in the Lok Adalat as I need not have to spend anything for fighting my case. I decided to sue the Prime Minister as he is the one who is responsible for the implementation of Aadhaar,” Mr. Sethy said, adding that he was awaiting a response since filing the case at the Lok Adalat on March 16.

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