Can the Electoral Commission outsource the electoral roll and voter review?


When Parliament has decided to act, it has often done so with dubious intent. One example is the introduction of election bonds to increase the transparency of political funding. This law makes it impossible to know the identity of the donor or the recipient, which completely negates transparency. The word “transparency” is used almost in the Orwellian sense for this legislation!

A recent example of parliamentary action on the RPA is the amendment passed last month. This is the link between Aadhaar and the voting card issued by the EC. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 20th without discussion. It was passed in the Rajya Sabha with a vote the next day, even if the vote was in great demand. The video of the vote clearly shows the loud opposition to the law, but it was passed anyway. However, the aadhaar linkage is very problematic for several reasons.

First, this change directly contradicts, at least prima facie, the 2018 Supreme Court ruling which clearly stated that aadhaar is not mandatory for all citizens. Aadhaar can only be made a condition for welfare recipients and only for a limited purpose. This was a landmark ruling in the second-longest trial ever heard by the Supreme Court.

Second, Aadhaar is supposed to be proof of identity, not citizenship. It was never intended as proof of citizenship and eligibility to vote. Indeed, electoral roll-out is a critical task of the electoral commission and cannot be outsourced to another body outside of its jurisdiction.

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