New Delhi: The Union law ministry has in principle no objection to linking of Aadhaar and voter cards but only if there are enough safeguards to ensure that there will be no theft of data.

According to reports, the Election Commission had written to the ministry seeking legal power to collect and use Aadhaar card data for updating voter list, to weed out bogus voters. As per EC’s proposal, the electoral law should be amended to empower electoral registration officers to seek Aadhaar number of existing voters as well as of those applying to get their names on the voters’ list. Seeking to check multiple entries in the electoral rolls and to make them error-free, Election Commission had in 2015 embarked on an ambitious National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) project to link Aadhaar numbers with the voters’ electoral data to check multiple entries in electoral rolls.

The ministry now is preparing a Cabinet note on tweaking the electoral law so that the citizens can be asked to link their voter ID card with Aadhaar.

The proposal is not new. In 2015, EC had issued a letter to all state election commissions to collect Aadhaar number from new voter applicants. But the project had to be stopped after the Suprme Court ruled that the production of an Aadhaar card would not be a condition for obtaining any benefit otherwise due to a citizen.

“The information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose…except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of a criminal investigation,” the apex court had ordered in 2015.

(With IANS Inputs)