Linking Aadhaar with Voter ID

News Excerpt: 

The Union Law Ministry has rejected the proposal of the Election Commission suggesting changes that would remove the requirement for a voter to explain their decision if they choose not to link their Aadhaar number with their voter ID card.


  • In 2015, the Election Commission announced the campaign to link Aadhaar with the electoral roll database.
  • The campaign's objective was to eliminate fake or duplicate entries from the electoral roll and was slated for completion by August of the same year.
  • The commission made it clear that participation in the exercise would be voluntary.
  • Following the Supreme Court's decision in 2015, which limited the use of Aadhaar to government schemes such as food grain distribution, LPG, and kerosene, the Election Commission halted its initiative.
  • At that point, the Election Commission had already collected 38 crore Aadhaar details.
  • In 2019, the Election Commission once more suggested linking Aadhaar with the electoral roll, urging the government to amend election laws to allow for the collection of Aadhaar details.
  • In response, the government introduced the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which Parliament passed in December 2021, facilitating the linking of Aadhaar and Voter IDs.
  • Subsequently, the Election Commission resumed the collection of Aadhaar numbers from July 2022, this time on a voluntary basis, as per the Act.

Issues with the Aadhar-Voter ID linkage:

  • Recently a petitioner in the Supreme Court contended that Form 6 (for new voter enrollment), Form 6B (for collecting Aadhaar numbers of enrolled voters), and associated forms don't include provisions for electors to abstain from providing Aadhaar.
    • These forms only present two options: either provide the Aadhaar number or declare, "I am unable to furnish my Aadhaar because I do not have an Aadhaar number."
    • Choosing the latter option could imply that electors who prefer not to provide their Aadhaar details might have to falsely declare that they do not possess an Aadhaar card.
    • Making a false declaration would constitute an offense punishable under the Representation of Peoples Act, of 1950.
    • The Supreme Court has instructed the Commission to introduce clarificatory alterations in voter enrollment forms to align the voluntary nature of Aadhar Voter ID linkage.

The latest proposal of the commission:

  • The Election Commission of India had proposed amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1950, and voter enrollment forms.
    • The amendments were proposed in Section 23(6) and Section 28(2) (hhhb) of the RP Act 1950.
    • These sections specify that individuals cannot be refused registration or removed from the electoral rolls for not furnishing Aadhaar details.
    • But the sections include a provision stating that individuals must have "sufficient cause" for their decision.
    • The EC reportedly requested the removal of the "sufficient cause" requirement.
    • The proposed amendments aim to remove the requirement for voters to justify their decision if they choose not to link their Aadhaar number with their voter ID card.

The response of the ministry:

  • The Union Law Ministry rejected the proposal, stating that the Supreme Court had not provided specific directives to amend the RP Act, of 1950.
    • As an alternative, they suggested that the Election Commission issue clarificatory guidelines.
    • These guidelines would reinforce the voluntary nature of providing Aadhaar details.
  • Additionally, they emphasized that no voter should be excluded from the voters' list or denied inclusion due to a lack of an Aadhaar number.

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