Aadhar Linked To Electoral Rolls: 'Cleansing' Or Breach of Privacy?
The government passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Act in Lok Sabha yesterday on 20th December which will make lining Aadhar enrolment numbers with electoral rolls. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, considered the main force behind the bill, said that it will “cleanse” the electoral rolls, meaning thereby that multiple registrations would be eliminated, However, the Congress, BSP, and AIMIM said that this would violate the right to privacy of citizens and endanger the secret ballot.
Congress KP Shashi Tharoor underlined that Aadhar was not a proof of citizenship and merely proved residence in India, and therefore could not be linked to the voting process which is open only for Indians.
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the Bill violates the fundamental right of privacy. In the absence of data protection laes, such a Bill should not be “streamrolled on people”, he argued.
The opposition claimed that the Bill violates the Supreme Court ruling last year in January that privacy is a fundamental right of citizens. In response, the government through Law Minister Kiren Rijiju countered that the apprehensions were “baseless”, the Bill had been sent to a Standing Committee of Law and Personnel, and that it was fully compliant with the apex court’s ruling.
The opposition also holds that the Bill was passed without sufficient debate, a point that was raised during the Parliament’s first day of the ongoing Winter Session when the three farming laws were repealed in Parliament. The ensuing ruckus in the Rajya Sabha led to the suspension of 12 MP’s from the Upper House for the entirety of the Winter Session, which they have been protesting ever since.
In the video, the timeline from the Bill’s introduction to the passing is shown. Along with insufficient time, other issues raised by the opposition, for example, Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP from Wayanad, Kerala, including Lakhimpur Kheri and the security situation in the Ladakh sector.
Along with the Election laws (Amendment) Bills, Rijiju also introduced amendments to Representation of the People Act, 1950 and 1951.