Cabinet Clears Bill On Electoral Reforms

Story Highlights
  • Lok Sabha cleared the Election Laws Bill to link electoral roll data with Aadhaar cards.
  • The bill was introduced in the House by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
  • The electoral reforms bill was passed by a voice vote after a brief discussion.

New Delhi: The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to provide an option to link the Aadhaar number to electoral rolls among other changes, has been passed in Lok Sabha on Monday. Earlier today, the Bill was tabled amid uproar from the Opposition over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence issue, which resulted in adjournment of the House till 2 pm. The Bill, piloted by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, was passed by a voice vote after a brief discussion during which some opposition members demanded that it be referred to a parliamentary panel.

However, Rijiju said various proposals which are part of the bill have already been suggested and recommended by the Standing Committee of Law and Personnel. He further said that the bill will cleanse the election system. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeks to allow electoral registration officers to seek Aadhaar number of people who want to register as voters ”for the purpose of establishing the identity”. It also seeks to allow the electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar numbers from ”persons already included in the electoral roll for the purposes of authentication of entries in the electoral roll, and to identify registration of the name of the same person in the electoral roll of more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency”.

At the same time, the amendment bill makes it clear that ”no application for inclusion of name in the electoral roll shall be denied and no entries in the electoral roll shall be deleted for the inability of an individual to furnish or intimate Aadhaar number due to such sufficient cause as may be prescribed”. Such people will be allowed to furnish other alternative documents as may be prescribed. Meanwhile, the House is now adjourned till tomorrow. Earlier in the day, the House passed the Supplementary Demands for Grants.

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