Panel to push for linking Aadhaar and voter ID cards

Election Commission to submit plea in Supreme Court to complete integration

March 10, 2018 10:52 pm | Updated March 11, 2018 04:59 pm IST - Bengaluru

 Karnataka : Bengaluru : 01/02/20018 :  Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat adddressing Media at Vikasa Soudha after the district-wise review on pool preparedness for Elections to Karnataka Legislative Assembly-2018 on February, 2018.  Photo:V Sreenivasa Murthy

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 01/02/20018 : Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat adddressing Media at Vikasa Soudha after the district-wise review on pool preparedness for Elections to Karnataka Legislative Assembly-2018 on February, 2018. Photo:V Sreenivasa Murthy

The Election Commission (EC) will submit an application to the Supreme Court seeking its nod to link Aadhaar with Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC), Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat said on Saturday.

“We have already linked 32 crore EPICs/ electoral roll with Aadhaar in 2015. However, the Supreme Court stayed it. We see a new window opening for Aadhaar integration and we will approach the apex court seeking its nod for linking the two,” Mr. Rawat said during an interaction with delegates at the 14th Annual National Conference organised here by Karnataka Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms.

Of the 87.50 crore voters, 32 crore had linked their EPICSs with Aadhaar in three months, and once the court gives permission, the EC would start linking the rest, he said.

Responding to a question on totalising votes to ensure that pattern of voting in a particular booth is not known, Mr. Rawat said the EC was in favour of totalising votes.

“Votes polled in 14 EVMs can be put together before counting and we have shown this in 2008. Mixing of votes was done earlier with ballots,” he said.

Case pending

A case in this connection is pending before Supreme Court, and the Commission will be submitting its argument before the court on Monday, he said.

To another query on State funding of elections, he said, “Even with State funding, there could be misuse.”

Earlier, addressing the conference, Mr. Rawat listed the proposals made by the EC to make elections free and fair.

Among other things, he said the Commission had suggested changes to Section 126 of the Peoples Representation Act to bring the media within the ambit of the act.

“The Commission is also considering ways in which all media must be regulated equally 48 hours before close of poll to ensure an atmosphere of neutrality,” he added. He pointed out that a study of Assembly elections between 2011 and 2013 showed that notices were issued to candidates in 1,987 cases and in 1,727 cases practise of paid news was confirmed by the district/ State level committees set up for the purpose.

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