SC agrees to hear plea to link Aadhar with voter ID and property documents

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear after four weeks a plea seeking a direction to Election Commission to implement an Aadhaar-based voting system in elections to curtail bogus voting and link Aadhaar with movable and immovable property documents to curb corruption, black money generation and benami transactions.

“We will take it up after four weeks,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said. The plea was filed by advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

Since most people already have an Aadhaar number, asking them to link it to their property documents is a better option. The main advantage of this strategy is that the tax authorities will get details about ‘legal owners’ (owner as per property documents) immediately. Several historical property deals might have happened in fictitious names and they will get stuck immediately. Several black money hoarders also used to register properties in other’s name (e.g. in the name of servants, some family members who are poor, etc) after getting their signatures (these poor people have no idea what these signatures are meant for). In these cases, the original property documents are kept by the ‘original owners’ and in most cases, they also keep power of attorney signed by ‘legal owners’, a media report said.

Once the Aadhaar linkage happens, tax authorities can approach the ‘legal owners’ and it can be treated as benami property if the ‘legal owners are unaware or denies knowledge of the ownership’. Even if the ‘legal owner’ takes onus and claims that it is his property, he needs to show the ‘source of income’ for buying that property, it said.

It should be noted that the stringent Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act (PBPT Act) came into effect in 2016. As per The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, a Benami transaction involves a deal or an arrangement where a property is transferred to, or is held by, a person, and the consideration for such property has been provided for, or paid by, another person and the property is held for the immediate or future benefit, direct or indirect, of the person who has paid for it.