Aadhaar is not mandatory to register births and deaths in the country, the Office of the Registrar General reiterated in an RTI, LiveLaw reported. The RTI response directed the applicant to an April 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs circular that said that Aadhaar is only of the many “acceptable” documents that can be asked for to register births and deaths.

The Home Ministry circular said that registration of births and deaths in the country is governed by the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969 which has “no provision” to “permit[s] the use of Aadhaar for establishing the identity of an individual for the purpose of registration of birth and death”. It had also said that the government is not considering such use of Aadhaar.

The circular had also made it clear that apart from being voluntary, the Aadhaar number cannot be stored in its entirety in any database or be printed on any document. The first eight of the 12-digit number must be “masked with black ink” and only the last four digits can be printed or stored, if needed. That circular was sent to the chief registrars of births and deaths of all states and union territories, and to all the concerned district collector’s offices.

The RTI had been filed by an Andhra Pradesh resident, M.V.S. Aniul Kumar Rajagiri, who had reportedly asked the government if Aadhaar is mandatory for registration of death.