The Election Commission has told the Supreme Court that linking Aadhaar numbers with electoral rolls is not mandatory under the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules 2022. A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra was recently apprised by the poll body that over 66 crore Aadhaar numbers have already been uploaded in the process of finalizing electoral rolls. Further, the Election Commission submitted before the top court that it is looking into issuing “clarificatory changes in the forms” as submission of the Aadhar number is not mandatory under Rule 26-B of the 2022 Rules.
A plea was moved by the Congress’ Telangana unit Senior Vice President G. Niranjan seeking direction to the EC to amend Form-6 (Application Form for New Voters) and Form-6B (Letter of Information of Aadhaar Number for the purpose of Electoral Roll Authentication).
It said that the present forms compel the voter to provide Aadhaar though the EC claims that the submission of Aadhaar particulars is voluntary. The writ petition filed under Article 32 alleged that EC has been insisting its officials to collect the Aadhaar numbers of voters and the state officers are forcing the village, and booth level officials to collect Aadhaar numbers from the voters. It claimed that “the ground level officials are forcing the voters to submit their Aadhaar numbers and threatening the voters that if the Aadhaar card number is not provided then the voter will lose the vote”.