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ECI supports Madras HC petition calling for Aadhaar–Voter ID linking

The Madras High Court has issued notice in a petition appealing the linkage of Aadhaar with Voter ID. The Election Commission has informed the court that it supports the petition and linkage, reports Bar & Bench.

A bench of Justices S Manikumar and PT Asha issued notice in the petition filed by Advocate ML Ravi, president of the Desiya Makkal Sakkthi Katchi (National People’s Power Party). The petition calls for the Election Commission to link Aadhaar with Voter ID to weed out invalid and illegal voters, and errors in manual registration of voters.

Adv. Ravi appealed for the court to grant an interim injunction on any by-election and Lok Sabha elections until the linkage of Aadhaar with Voter ID was completed.

The PIL appeals for linkage on the following grounds:

  • Voters who change residence are disenfranchised
  • Cited a writ petition filed in the Madras HC over the 2017 RK Nagar bypolls in Chennai where the EC removed 45,000 fake voters from the electoral list
  • Points to Aadhaar being “robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities” and Aadhaar authentication being cost-effective

Read the complete text of the petition here.

Attempts at Voter ID–Aadhaar linkage

  • In August, 7 National and 34 State political parties urged the ECI to link Voter IDs with the Aadhaar card to weed out duplicate voter names.
  • In March, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said Voter ID–Aadhaar linkage would continue once the apex court gave its nod.
  • In July, the ECI petitioned the Supreme Court to allow for linkage. The matter had been delayed as it had been sub-judice, and was deferred until after the SC delivered its verdict on the Aadhaar matter.
  • The ECI had launched the National Electoral Roll Purification & Authentication Programme (NERPAP) in March 2015 and was trying to link it to the Aadhaar database, but an interim order in August 2015 from the court prevented linking of Aadhaar to voter rolls.

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