The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (GS Paper-II, Polity, Constitution and Governance) Source:  The Hindu

The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (GS Paper-II, Polity, Constitution and Governance) Source:  The Hindu

The Election Laws Bill, 2021- Today Current Affairs

Why in news? The Hindu Analysis

The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 has been passed in the Parliament which provides for the linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem.

Rationale behind the reforms: The Hindu Analysis

  • A Parliamentary Standing Committee report on demands of grants of the Law Ministry released in March 2021 had advocated for linkage of a unique Aadhaar number with the voter Id-card.

  • This proposal has been approved by the Parliamentary Committee on Law and Justice.

  • However, it is not clear whether the specifications of the Bill have been discussed widely and the public opinion has been sought for it.

  • With the Supreme Court judgement in March 2015, the Election Commission had started a National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme.

  • In order to delete duplicate names, the Election Commission has called for linking Aadhar to the voter IDs.

  • In the same year, the Supreme Court clarified that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by the Court.

  • The EC has issued necessary guidelines to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of the States/UTs where it has specified that providing Aadhaar number by electors is not mandatory and it is only optional.

Benefit of reforms to the people: The Hindu Analysis

  • In order to help migrant voters the amendment can also allow remote voting.

  • The provision of four qualifying dates for revision of rolls will be helping in faster enrolment of the younger people who are turning 18.

Criticisms of the Amendment: The Hindu Analysis

  • One of the major concerns is whether the Bill’s implementation will be successful if the linkage of Aadhar to the voter IDs is not mandatory.As according to the bill, providing Aadhaar data is voluntary.

  • Though the Aadhaar requirement is said to be voluntary as of now but there is a concern that in practice it can be made mandatory.

  • The choice not to submit is linked to a “sufficient cause” and the reasons on the basis of which a person can choose not to link my Aadhaar will be determined by the government.

  • However the “sufficient cause” has not been mentioned in the Bill.

  • Although the unique identity number has been allotted to more than 90% of the population. The Complaints of wrongful enrollment in UIDAI have been received.

  • There is a conceptual confusion whether Aadhaar linkage will enable non-citizens to vote as Aadhaar card is not proof of citizenship.So foreigners will be excluded by this.

  • This way the goal of preventing non-citizens from voting will not be resolved.

  • Although Individual identification of voting choices is not possible with the linkage of Aadhaar but it may lead to profiling of Individuals.

  • When a person goes to vote, verification of his identity is done which is separate from the capturing of the identity.

  • With this the foundation for targeted political propaganda will be laid down which is against the model code of conduct.

  • In the year of 2019 UIDAI accused IT Grids (India) Private Ltd for illegally procuring details of Aadhaar card holders in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and storing these in its databases.

  • All this raises concerns over the safety and security vulnerabilities of the UIDAI servers.

In this article we mention all information about The Election Laws Bill, 2021- Today Current Affairs.

plutus ias daily current affairs 31 December 2021

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