Law Ministry Considering Election Commission’s Proposal On Aadhaar Data Of Voters To Clean Up Electoral Rolls
A woman has an indelible mark painted on her finger before casting her vote at a polling station in Varanasi, India. (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/ Bloomberg News)  

Law Ministry Considering Election Commission’s Proposal On Aadhaar Data Of Voters To Clean Up Electoral Rolls

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The Law Ministry is learnt to be considering an Election Commission proposal to give it statutory backing to collect Aadhaar number of new applicants and existing voters to check multiple entries in electoral rolls.

In August 2015, a Supreme Court order on Aadhaar card put brakes on Election Commission's project to link Unique Identification Authority of India (Aadhaar) number with voters' electoral data to check multiple entries in electoral rolls. The poll panel was then collecting Aadhaar number as part of its National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme.

In a letter to Law Ministry, the commission recently proposed that provisions of the Representation of the People Act be amended to allow Election Commission seek Aadhaar numbers of those applying to be voters and those who are already part of the electoral rolls.

Sources said the Law Ministry is considering the proposal to tweak the electoral law. "Action is being taken," a senior ministry functionary told PTI.

According to the Election Commission proposal sent in August, the electoral law should be amended to empower electoral registration officers to seek Aadhaar number of existing voters as well as of those applying to get their names on the voters' list.

Seeking to check multiple entries in electoral rolls and to make them error-free, the Election Commission had earlier embarked on an ambitious project to link Aadhaar numbers with voters' electoral data.

"Since the Supreme Court order makes it clear that sanction of law is required to collect Aadhaar number, the Commission has proposed changes in electoral law," a poll panel functionary said.

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