Aadhaar-issuing authority UIDAI on Saturday clarified that no essential service or benefit like medical facility, hospitalisation, school admission or ration through PDS can be denied for the want of the biometric national ID. Significantly, the latest development comes a day after a pregnant woman was denied admission in a hospital in Gurgaon for not furnishing her Aadhaar card.
In a statement, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) asked government departments and state administration “to ensure that no essential service or benefit shall be denied to a genuine beneficiary for the want of Aadhaar whether it is medical help, hospitalisation, school admission or ration through PDS”.
“There are exception handling regulations issued by UIDAI vide its circular dated 24th October 2017 which must be followed to make sure that no beneficiary is denied of benefits for the want of Aadhaar,” the statement further read.
The UIDAI maintained that Aadhaar is meant to bring transparency and accountability in public service deliveries through effective use of technology and it should not be misused and made an excuse to any denial in the services.
The Cabinet Secretariat had on December 19 last year issued instructions that bonafide beneficiaries are not deprived of their due benefits as alternative provisions have been made in the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
Recent cases of denial of services like hospitalisation by the medical staff due to the lack of Aadhaar card has become a major concern for the UIDAI department. It assured that the cases which have been reported are being probed and if proven to be true, strict action would be taken. It went on to say that if any citizen is denied services they can register a complain with the higher authorities. Such violations are punishable under respective laws of the land.
UIDAI insisted that “it will again write a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all the states and Union Territories ensuring that Section 7 of Aadhaar Act, 2016 is implemented.”
On Friday, an incident was reported from Gurgaon’s Civil Hospital where a pregnant woman was denied admission and she gave birth outside the doors of the hospital. The Hospital has suspended a doctor and a nurse for the alleged lapse and ordered an enquiry into the incident.
“We only had the Aadhaar card number at the time, and said we would get the card as well…We asked them to admit her in the interim so that treatment could begin,” said her husband, Babloo. The officials though declined the request and insisted for a physical copy of the Aadhaar card and refused to admit her.
Similar incident was reported from UP’s Jaunpur where a pregnant woman was also refused treatment for not providing her Aadhaar card, the woman ended up giving birth on the hospital floor.