Report Wire - Aadhaar-voter listing linkage: EC warns of extreme motion in opposition to ballot officers if Aadhaar knowledge leaked

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Aadhaar-voter listing linkage: EC warns of extreme motion in opposition to ballot officers if Aadhaar knowledge leaked

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NEW DELHI: Days after guidelines have been issued permitting linkage of Aadhaar with voters listing to weed out duplicate entries, the Election Commission has warned of “severe” disciplinary motion in opposition to electoral registration officers for any leakages of bodily kinds crammed by electors to share their Aadhaar particulars.

The Commission has additionally emphasised that submission of Aadhaar by electors is “voluntary”.

In a letter despatched to chief electoral officers of all states and Union territories on July 4, the ballot panel mentioned particular camps at cluster stage may be organized on the dates coinciding with particular marketing campaign dates throughout particular abstract revision, the place the electors may be persuaded to provide their Aadhaar quantity voluntarily in Form-6B in exhausting copy.

According to a legislation ministry notification, utilizing the newly-introduced Form-6B, current voters might share their Aadhaar quantity will ballot authorities.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (5) of Section 23 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950), the Central Government hereby notifies the 1st April, 2023 as the date on or before which every person whose name is included in the electoral roll may intimate his Aadhaar number in accordance with the said section,” learn the notification.

“The notification uses the term ‘may’ and not ‘shall’ which makes sharing details voluntary,” a senior functionary had defined just lately.

Asserting that furnishing of Aadhaar quantity is “purely voluntary”, the letter mentioned the electoral registration officer (ERO) “will make it clear to the electors that the purpose of obtaining of Aadhaar number is for authentication of his entries in electoral roll and extending better electoral services to them in future. It is emphasised that submission of Aadhaar by electors is voluntary”.

The letter reiterates what was talked about within the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 that the ERO won’t delete any entry within the electoral roll on the bottom of incapacity on the a part of any current elector to furnish Aadhaar quantity.

Referring to safety measures for accumulating and dealing with Aadhaar quantity, the letter mentioned “in no circumstances, it ought to go in public area.

If the elector’s data is required to place for public show, the Aadhaar particulars should be eliminated or masked”.

As for preservation of Form-6B in exhausting copy containing Aadhaar quantity, the provisions of a regulation of Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) Regulations, 2022 shall be strictly adopted which says that Aadhaar numbers collected by way of bodily kinds or photocopies of Aadhaar letters shall be masked by the requested entity by redacting the primary 8 digits of the Aadhaar quantity earlier than storing the bodily copies.

“Such collected Form 6B together with attachment, after digitisation, shall be saved in secure custody with double lock by EROs.

Severe disciplinary motion shall be initiated in opposition to EROs for any leakages of bodily kinds in public area,” the Commission warned.

It mentioned in no way, the 12-digit Aadhaar quantity digitised in ERONET by way of varied enter channels shall be saved in ERONET.

“This number should be stored in Licensed Aadhaar Vault hired by ECI in accordance with relevant regulations of UIDAI,” the letter underlined.