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Saturday, July 02 2022
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Aadhaar an announced compulsion? - 2 min read

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Free and fair election has been by far the greatest efforts in Indian election. From bringing in voter ID in order to avoid the illegal polling to that of EVM (Electoral Voting Machine), progressive changes has been a part of the system. As a step ahead, the government has initiated to link Aadhaar card to Voter list in order to avoid the bogus voting.

What is Aadhaar in actual?

On behalf of Government of India, Aadhaar, a 12-digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The number serves as a proof of identity throughout the nation. Not to misinterpret, Aadhaar is just an identification not a proof of Citizenship.

Government recently in its Parliamentary Session has passed bill that states linking of Aadhaar to that of electoral role. Government stated, this move will help the migrant labourers avail their voting rights along with clearing of bogus voters.

Causes for concern

There has been several queries and criticism on the bill. It is analysed that the probability of a valid voter being deprived of ones voting right too is a possibility as per the bill. A valid voter may step back to link his/her Aadhaar card with the electoral list, fearing the safety. Secondly, voting is a right guaranteed only to the citizens of the nation. And so, how can a mere residential proof (Aadhaar) be used in ensuring ones constitutional right of voting (Art. 326). And there are also concerns on fake Aadhaar card being made.

Supreme Court judgement

In the instance of several issues being popping out on the lack of protection on ones personal data, post Aadhaar service system, in the 2017, Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd) vs. Union of India case, the constitutionality of Aadhaar was questioned based on the violation of Right to Privacy guaranteed under Article 21.

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Government in its judgement said, that a state or a non-state actor should pass the test of Legitimate Aim, Proportionality and  Legality when intending to invade the privacy. An intention that brings a free and fair election indeed is a best move. But same should not be at the cost of individual’s privacy. Bringing in a crystal clear solution to the existing issue in protecting the information and data of the citizen should be the first initiative towards this process of free and fair elections.

Sumayya Parveen A.

Sumayya is a Journalism, Eng. Literature and History Graduate & IAS Aspirant. She is also a budding writer and poetess.

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