Adhar | Bill | Politics | 17th January 2022 | Virtual Wire
Picture -India Times
The Lok Sabha passed on Monday, a bill which proposes to link electoral rolls data with UIDAI'S Aadhar.
The Election Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021, introduced by Minister of Law Kiren Rijiju, was discussed briefly after which it was passed by a voice vote amidst protests by the Opposition over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. Introducing the bill, the Law Minister exclaiythat the bill will end bogus voting and make the electoral procedure more credible, and thereby cleanse the electoral system. The Opposition proposed sending the bill for the consideration of a Parliamentary committee, which was rejected by the Law Minister who stated that various proposals in the bill have already been recommended by the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel. Following this, the Opposition started creating a ruckus and hence the Lok Sabha was adjourned.
The bill was a long pending demand of India's Election Commission which had proposed the said measure to check multiple entries in the electoral rolls and to make the rolls error-free. Earlier in March this year, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the former Law Minister had informed the Lok Sabha that the Election Commission had proposed to link electoral rolls with Aadhar with a view to curb the issue of multiple entries of the same person at different places. The bill seeks to link the Aadhar details with electoral rolls of new voters as well as already existing voters. It will also allow new voters to enroll as voters on 4 different dates every year. Currently, those above 18 years as of 1st January of that year are eligible to be enrolled as voters, which renders many voters to not have the right to vote in any election that year if their birthday is later in the year.
The bill also proposes to make the electoral law 'gender-neutral'. At present, an amry man's wife can be enrolled as a service voter, but an army woman's husban doesn't have this right. The bill entrusts this right to an army woman's husband as well. Moreover, the bill proposes to replace "wife" with "spouse" for matters related to service voters in the Representation of People's Act, highlighting more sensitivity towards the third genders. Opposing the bill in the Lok Sabha, Congress MP and Leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that the bill curbs people's liberties and in the absence of a data protection law, the government cannot bulldozen a bill on the people. The Bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for consideration.