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Proposal To Link Birth And Death Data With Aadhaar introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament

MP Asaduddin Owaisi has warned that the proposed amendments will violate the right to privacy and the principle of purpose limitation.


What’s the news: Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha on July 26, 2023. If passed as is, the amendment will make Aadhaar details mandatory for the registration of births and deaths. MP Asaduddin Owaisi has voiced his concerns against this amendment.

Why it matters: Owaisi has warned that the proposed amendments will violate the right to privacy and the principle of purpose limitation. He argued that the proposed collection of Aadhaar data for birth and death certificates is excessive in nature and will be in violation of the Puttaswamy test. Another fear raised by critics is how the linking to Aadhaar and new provisions may revive the NRC concerns.

What are the suggested changes?

Mandatory sharing of Aadhaar details: In case of birth, the amendment asks parents and information to share their Aadhaar numbers for the issuance of a birth certificate. In case of a death, the deceased, parents, spouse, and parents will all be required to enter their Aadhaar details for the issuance of a death certificate. Earlier, the Act only asked for “several particulars” of the individual. In case of death in a medical institution, it will be responsible for providing a certificate as to the cause of death to the Registrar and a copy to the nearest relative.

Use of birth and death registries for updating other databases: The Registrar General of India will be required to maintain the database of registered births and deaths at the national level that can later be used (with the approval of the central government) to update the Aadhaar database prepared under the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

Other databases to be updated: Population Register, Electoral Registers or Electoral Rolls, Ration Card database, Passport database, driving license database, and other national databases.

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Increased penalties: The amendment also raises the penalty for failing to share this information from INR 50 up to INR 250 for persons and up to INR 1,000 for institutions.

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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