A parliamentary committee on Friday supported the Election Commission proposal to link voters’ Aadhaar numbers with the electoral roll to clean up data of duplicate entries.
The department-related Standing Committee on Law recommended that the government undertake “appropriate actions for the purpose of linking Aadhaar card number with voter I-card to purify the electoral roll which is in the larger interest of democratic polity.”
The Law Ministry is the nodal ministry for the Election Commission. The recommendation is part of its report on Demands for Grants (2020-2021) of the Ministry of Law and Justice tabled in Parliament on Friday.
In August last year, the commission had asked the government to give it statutory backing to collect Aadhaar numbers of new applicants and existing voters to check multiple entries in electoral rolls. The poll panel had proposed that provisions of the Representation of the People Act be amended to allow the Election Commission (EC) to seek Aadhaar numbers of those applying to be voters and those whose names are already on voters’ list.
EC seeks amendment
According to the EC proposal, the electoral law should be amended to empower an electoral registration officer to seek Aadhaar numbers of existing voters as well as of those applying to be included in the voters’ list.
In August 2015, a Supreme Court order put brakes on the EC’s project to link the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) numbers with voters’ electoral data to check multiple entries in electoral rolls.
The poll panel was then collecting Aadhaar numbers as part of its National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP). Seeking to check multiple entries in electoral rolls and to make them error-free, the EC had embarked on an ambitious project to link Aadhaar numbers with voters’ electoral data.