EC proposal to link electoral roll with the Aadhaar under consideration: Govt in LS

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) The Election Commission's proposal to link electoral roll with the Aadhaar ecosystem to root out multiple enrolments is under the consideration of the government, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the poll panel has proposed to link electoral roll with the 'Aadhaar ecosystem' with a 'view to curb the menace of multiple enrolment of the same person at different places'.

He said this would require amendments to the electoral laws. 'The matter is under the consideration of the government,' he said.

He was asked about the current status of the Election Commission's proposal to link Aadhaar with voter ID.

The minister said the poll panel has stated that it has taken multiple measures for the security and the safety of the electoral roll data platform.

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

He was asked about the manner in which the government plans to protect the data linked with Aadhaar and voter ID from being misused.

The poll panel has been pressing the government to amend provisions of the Representation of the People Act allowing EC to seek Aadhaar numbers of those applying to be voters and those who are already part of the electoral rolls.

According to the EC proposal sent in August 2019, 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 enrol themselves in the voters'' list.

In August 2015, a Supreme Court order on Aadhaar had put the brakes on Election Commission's project to link UIDAI (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 (NERPAP).

Seeking to check multiple entries in electoral rolls and to make them error-free, the Election Commission had embarked on an ambitious project to link Aadhaar numbers with 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 had recently explained. PTI NAB NAB AAR AAR