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Now Voter ID to be linked with Aadhaar Card, Election Commission of India

Now Voter ID to be linked with Aadhaar Card, Election Commission of IndiaNow Voter ID to be linked with Aadhaar Card (representation image)
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The ministry has asked the EC to 'list' the security measures in place to prevent the 'theft, interception and hijacking' of data.

Voters will be asked to link voter cards with Aadhaar numbers since the Union Law Ministry has reacted positively to a request from the Electoral Commission of India. The EC seeks legal power to resume the practice.

However, the ministry has asked the EC to "list" the security measures in place to prevent the "theft, interception and hijacking" of data.

In August, EC wrote a letter to the Secretary of Law, proposing amendments to the Representation of People Act, 1950, and the Aadhaar Act, 2016, to obtain legal support to collect the Aadhaar numbers of new applicants and existing voters to verify multiple entrances in electoral rolls.

As per the EC proposal, the electoral law should be amended to empower the Electoral Registration Officer to search for the Aadhaar numbers of existing voters, and also those who apply to the voter list.

In support of the proposal, the poll control body argued that the delivery of voter cards with Aadhaar would help eliminate duplicate entrances and false voters and, therefore, serve the national interest.

However, it mentioned that no one would be denied registration or removed from the voter list because of the inability to provide Aadhaar numbers.

In September, according to reports, the Ministry of Legal Affairs responded that the EC's justification would "pass the benchmark test laid down by the Honourable Supreme Court for collecting Aadhaar details for purposes other than getting benefits of state-sponsored schemes".

Also, given the emphasis of the Supreme Court on the need to "protecting the privacy of individuals," the ministry requested the EC to list the safeguards integrated into the electoral census data platform.

On December 12, the poll control agency responded to the ministry that it had already taken "multiple measures" to protect voter list data, the report suggested.

The implementation of linking Aadhaar with the Electors Photo Identity Cards (or EPIC) began for the first time in February 2015 when HS Brahma was the chief commissioner of elections. But, it stopped in August of that year after an order of the Supreme Court. The reports suggest that the EC had already linked 38 crore voter cards to Aadhaar by then.

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