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Monday, April 19, 2021

Govt considering electoral roll-Aadhaar card link to curb duplication, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

The minister said that the proposal would require amendments to existing laws and is “under the consideration of the government.”

Written by Apurva Vishwanath | New Delhi |
Updated: March 18, 2021 11:53:54 am
Anil Deshmukh, Anil Deshmukh resignation, BJP Uddhav Thackeray, Anil Deshmukh resignation Fadnavis, Maharashtra newsUnion Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The government is considering a proposal to link electoral roll with Aadhaar with a view to “curb the menace of multiple enrolment of the same person at different places”, Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Lok Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday.

“Electoral roll database system does not enter into the Aadhaar ecosystem, and the system is used only for authentication purpose keeping a tight air-gap between the two systems. These measures effectively prevent theft interception and hijacking of the voter system,” the reply stated.

The minister said that the proposal would require amendments to existing laws and is “under the consideration of the government.”

The minister was asked how the government plans to protect data linked with Aadhaar and voter ID from being misused.

The Indian Express had reported in January last year that the Law Ministry had responded positively to a request from the Election Commission, seeking legal powers to resume linking of voter cards with Aadhaar but had asked the EC to “enumerate” the safeguards in place to prevent “theft, interception and hijacking” of data.

In 2015, the Supreme Court, in an interim order in a batch of pleas challenging the Aadhaar framework, had directed that Aadhaar will only be used for identifying beneficiaries of state-sponsored schemes. In its final ruling in 2018, the SC had upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right and added that the government would require a specific law to tap into the Aadhaar ecosystem. This verdict ensures that linking Aadhaar with voter ID would require legislative backing and safeguards against invasion of privacy of an individual.

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