All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday for abusing its powers after it sent a notice to 127 people in Hyderabad for allegedly obtaining Aadhaar numbers on “false pretences.”

Owaisi, who has been at the frontline in protesting against the recently introduced Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), questioned the Unique Identification Authority of India for sending the notices given the current situation in the country regarding citizenship.

Taking to Twitter the Lok Sabha MP said, “UIDAI did not follow due procedure and abused its powers. The result was (understandable) panic among people. First, @UIDAI has no power to verify citizenship. It has few powers to look into some cases of Aadhaar being granted incorrectly.”

Owaisi said that the UIDAI had no authority to verify citizenship yet, “The Deputy Director, in this case, made it about verifying citizenship – which they aren’t empowered to do, the identical notices don’t even provide any specific findings of the preliminary inquiry that has to be made. Notices don’t even say what these “false pretences” were”

In its defence, the UIDAI said, “It may be noted that the regional office Hyderabad received reports from the state police that 127 people have obtained Aadhaar on false pretences, as in their preliminary enquiry they were found illegal immigrants who were not qualified to obtain an Aadhaar number,” the UIDAI said. As per the Aadhaar Act, such Aadhaar numbers are liable to be cancelled.

However, Owaisi questioned UIDAI’s intentions as he asked, “The words used in the notice is verification of citizenship (not validity of aadhaar). So will
@UIDAI suspend the Deputy Director who issued this notice? They clearly exceeded their powers by issuing this notice. It was a bad faith & biased exercise of their powers”. He went on to request the Telangana Police and the UIDAI to reveal how many of those 127 listed people are Muslim and Dalit.

The 127 people have been asked to appear before the UIDAI deputy director in Hyderabad for a personal hearing on February 20. Additional time has been given to allow them to collect the required documents, “Since it may take them some more time to collect the original documents that they had submitted for obtaining Aadhaar, as informed by the state police, the UIDAI has postponed the personal hearing to May 2020,” it added.