The Election Commission (EC) has 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.
In a letter to the law ministry, the EC has proposed that provisions of the Representation of the People Act be amended to allow the EC to seek Aadhaar numbers of those applying to be voters and those who are already on the voters’ list.
According to the EC proposal, sent earlier this month, the electoral law should be amended to empower the electoral registration officer to seek the Aadhaar numbers of existing voters as well as of those applying to register.
In August 2015, a Supreme Court order on the Aadhaar card has brakes on the Election Commission’s project to link Aadhaar numbers with voters’ electoral data to check for multiple entries in the electoral rolls.
The poll panel was then collecting Aadhaar numbers as part of its National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme. Seeking to eliminate duplication and other errors, the EC had embarked on an ambitious project to link Aadhaar numbers with voters’ electoral data.
“Since the Supreme Court order makes it clear that the sanction of the law is required to collect Aadhaar numbers, the commission has proposed changes in the electoral law,” a functionary explained.