‘Bypassing parliamentary and legal sanction entirely unacceptable'

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday asked the government to stop the biometric enrolment of citizens till the issues around the National Identification Authority of India Bill are finalised.

Referring to reports that the office the Director of Citizen Registration/Director of Census Operations has initiated the biometric enrolment for the database of the National Population Register, the party Polit Bureau said the instructions make it mandatory for all citizens to provide biometrics as part of the enrolment, including 10 fingerprints and iris scan.

“The Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship Rules 2003 provide for mandatory registration of all citizens, but not biometric enrolment. There are several issues which need to be resolved before such an exercise can be undertaken, especially the legal safeguards against misuse and the delinking of social welfare schemes from this exercise such as access to the PDS (Public Distribution System) and MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). These issues are expected to be discussed and resolved once the National Identification Authority of India Bill is finalised by the Parliamentary Standing Committee where it is presently pending. To embark upon the biometric enrolment bypassing parliamentary and legal sanction is entirely unacceptable,” the statement said.

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