Sunday, March 11, 2018

Linkage of Aadhaar with Voter ID Cards

Linkage of Aadhaar with Voter ID Cards

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), under the Ministry, only issues Aadhaar numbers to the residents of the country, and provides authentication services. It is up to the Departments/Ministries/ Agencies concerned to decide on the use of Aadhaar for providing services/ benefits to the people as per the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

The Election Commission launched National Electoral Roll Purification& Authentication Programme (NERPAP), 2015 on 3rd March 2015 in all States/Union Territories with major objective of linking of Aadhaar with Electoral Roll database. In August,2015 when collection, feeding and seeding of Aadhaar number were in full swing, Hon’ble Supreme Court, while considering WP(C) No 494 of 2012 titled Justice Shri K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) & Another V/s Union of India & Others), inter alia passed the following interim order on 11th August, 2015:-

“————— 3. The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme. —————— ”.

As the Election Commission was one of the respondents in the matter, it had to suspend all activities relating to collection/ feeding/ seeding of Aadhaar number, being undertaken under NERPAP.

The Election Commission has filed Application for Implement (I.A.No. 51252 of 2017) and Application for Directions (I.A No. 51253 of 2017) in the matter on 4th July 2017, before Hon’ble Supreme Court praying to permit the Election Commission to obtain Aadhaar details from the voters who are willing to submit or have submitted it voluntarily in order to link the same with the Voter Electoral Database.

The matter is presently sub-judice. As the matter is still pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Election Commission has not reviewed its instructions mentioned above. Based on the outcome of the case, the Election Commission will consider the proposal of linking Aadhar number for various electoral services, at appropriate time.

This was stated by the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology in a written reply to a question in the Parliament on 9.3.2018.

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