The government is considering the Election Commission’s proposal of linking electoral rolls with Aadhaar ecosystem to prevent multiple enrolments, the Lok Sabha was told on Wednesday. In a written response, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the poll panel proposed linking the electoral roll with the “Aadhaar ecosystem” to “curb the threat of multiple enrolments of the same individual at different places.” As per the Minister, this would necessitate changes to the electoral laws, reported Medianama.
According to a proposal submitted by the Election Commission in August 2019, the electoral law should be amended to enable electoral registration officers to request Aadhaar numbers from both registered voters and those applying to join the voters’ list.
As part of its National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Program, the poll panel was collecting Aadhaar numbers at the time (NERPAP). The Election Commission’s project to connect UIDAI (Aadhaar) numbers with voters’ electoral data to search for multiple entries in electoral rolls was halted in August 2015 by a Supreme Court order on Aadhaar.
According to a poll panel functionary, the commission has recommended changes in electoral law since the Supreme Court order makes it clear that legal approval is necessary to collect Aadhaar numbers. Therefore, the Election Commission had proposed the initiative to connect Aadhaar numbers with electoral data to verify multiple entries in electoral rolls and make them error-free.
This statement comes after to reply to a question placed by DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran. The MP asked about the status of Aadhaar-Voter ID linkage, its data security and other details. Maran wanted to know whether the government plans to amend existing laws to give the Election Commission access to the Aadhaar database for purposes of verification and duplication elimination.
Responding to the above queries, the Law Ministry stated:
“The ECI has said that it has taken multiple measures for the safety and security of the electoral roll data platform. The 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 high jacking of the voter system.”
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