Home Ministry allows prison authorities to conduct Aadhaar authentication of inmates

Move to extend benefits such as meeting with relatives and legal aid through the facility

Updated - March 07, 2023 09:03 am IST

Published - March 06, 2023 10:44 pm IST - New Delhi

A view of the Puzhal central jail. File

A view of the Puzhal central jail. File | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 6, 2023 notified that prison authorities across States are allowed to conduct authentication of prison inmates through Aadhaar card for extending benefits such as meeting with relatives and legal aid. The Ministry added the exercise was voluntary. Prison is a State subject.

The notification said the MHA having been authorised by the Central government to notify, under Rule 5 of the Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Rules, 2020 and the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, “performance of Aadhaar authentication of prison inmates on a voluntary basis using Yes/No authentication facility, inter-alia, for delivery of various benefits/facilities to which they are entitled, such as, correctional reform measures, health, skilling, vocational training, interview with relatives, legal aid, etc.”, hereby notifies that the Prisons Department of the States and Union Territories are allowed to perform Aadhaar authentication of prison inmates.

It added that prison authorities of the States shall adhere to the guidelines with respect to the use of Aadhaar authentication as laid down by the Central government.

Special camps

Earlier in November 2022, the MHA wrote to prison authorities to organise special camps to make Aadhaar available for all prisoners. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has agreed to accept the Prisoner Induction Document (PID) as a valid document for enrolment or update of Aadhaar. 

By enrolling prisoners to Aadhaar, various aspects of day-to-day prison administration such as production before court, return to prison, transport, health facilities, shifting to hospital outside the campus, interviews, free legal aid, parole, temporary release mechanisms, education/vocational training, release from prisons etc. could be regulated, the MHA said in November 18, 2022 letter to States.

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