The Chief Information Commission has asked the government and marriage registration authorities to raise awareness and provide publicity through various media that Aadhaar is not compulsory for the purpose of marriage registration scheme, reports LiveLaw.

The commission ruled that the compulsory registration of marriages helps tackle various issues like child marriage, marriage without consent, bigamous marriages, etc., and as such, the government should make it easier and more convenient to facilitate the registration, by not requiring other documents like Aadhaar and making changes for online application for marriage under the Special Marriage Act etc.

The CIC cited Supreme Court’s order from 2014, which ruled that the government should not restrict social benefits to those who are yet to receive their Aadhaar card. Last year, the SC had also said that the card scheme is purely voluntary and cannot be made mandatory for scholarships. However, contrary to its prior stance, the SC asked the Government to link all mobile numbers with Aadhaar card details within a year.

Centre’s push to increase Aadhaar saturation?

The usage of Aadhaar as a verification system has been on the rise where multiple services including the IIT JEE, employee provident funds, PDS food grain purchases, RTE admissions and Jharkhand’s food and public distribution systems also using it. Private companies have also started using Aadhaar for verification purposes, such as iris scans by DCB Bank for eKYC, Microsoft’s Skype Lite which supports Aadhaar based verification, etc. However, use of Aadhaar by making it compulsory to avail some services, has come under heavy criticism for not respecting user privacy or being very secure.