Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Voter ID-Aadhaar card link: Lok Sabha passes Election Laws (Amendment) Bill

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The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to link Aadhaar cards with electoral rolls, by voice vote. The Bill aims to weed out duplication in the election process.

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju introduced the bill amid protest by the Opposition. He said linking Aadhaar with voter ID will make the electoral process more credible. Rijiju added that linking Aadhaar to Electoral Photo Identity Card is voluntary. He said that the Bill is in the interest of the voter and the country.

The Bill was passed amid opposition ruckus with MPs from the Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Trinamool Congress standing in the well of the house, shouting slogans against the government. The opposition MPs claimed that the if Aadhaar is connected to the voter ID then it would violate the citizen’s Constitution-given right to privacy. The opposition demanded the rollback of the Bill.

To this, Rijiju said the Standing Committee of Law and Personnel discussed the provisions of the Bill and that the Bill will not be taken back. He claimed the bill would clean the election system of the country. Rijiju also introduced amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1950, and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

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The Bill seeks to allow electoral registration officers to seek the Aadhaar number of those who want to enroll as voters to establish their identity. It also proposes for substitution of the word “wife” with the word “spouse” making the statutes gender-neutral in the Representation of the People Act.

The Bill further allows officers to ask for the number of persons already included in the electoral roll for the purposes of authentication of entries in the electoral roll, and to identify registration of the name of the same person in the electoral roll of more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency.

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