A recent circular issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed all States and Union Territories to ensure that Aadhaar numbers are not displayed in birth and deaths certificates.
The circular makes reference to an office letter issued in January, 2015, instructing inclusion of a column for Aadhaar number of the parents in their child’s birth certificate, and of the deceased, his parents and his spouse in the death certificate.
The Ministry has now clarified that the Aadhaar number need not be considered a mandatory requirement, and can be used as an optional document for ascertaining the identity of the parents. Besides, it specifies that the Aadhaar number should be used for this purpose only with the holder’s consent.
“it is also clarified that all other documents for the purposes of identity being used by the State Governments are also valid and the State Governments being the implementing agency in respect of birth and death, may follow the rules framed by them and also the provisions of the IT Act and Aadhaar Act, 2016,” it further states.
The circular places the responsibility on the State Governments to ensure that display of the Aadhaar number in any form should not impact the individual’s privacy, which, it emphasizes, is a punishable offence under the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
It then directs the States and the UTs to “take necessary steps in the matter on priority basis”, and appraise the Ministry of the steps taken in this regard.
Read the Circular Here