Aadhaar will be required to obtain death certificates from October 1 to curb identity fraud, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said onFriday, but as confusion swirled, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) explained late in the evening that the directive was not mandatory.
The PIB issued a fresh release and referred to a news agency report,calling it totally incorrect, and saying that the directive was not mandatory. The PIB said that the MHA press release is self-explanatory, and did not add anything further.
The MHA press release said that in case the deceased did not have anAadhaar card or an enrollment number, the applicant asking for the death certificate will have to give an undertaking saying that to the best of his/her knowledge, the deceased did not possess the 12-digit unique identification number.
Applicants will also have to give their Aadhaar numbers along with those of the deceased's spouse and parents, the MHA release said. Incidentally, September 30 is the deadline for Aadhaar enrolment.
The directive applies to all states except Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam for whom a date will be fixed later. Any incorrect information given by the applicant will be considered an offence, it said. The direction comes at a time when the Supreme Court has heard petitions that say Aadhaar, which links enough data to create a comprehensive profile of citizens, violates privacy and reserved its judgment.
"It will provide an effective method to prevent identity fraud. It will also help in recording the identity of the deceased person. Further, it will obviate the need for producing multiple documents to prove the identity of the deceased person," said the MHA release.
The Registrar General of India (RGI) working under the MHA has directed departments in states and UTs responsible for birth and death registrations to ensure compliance and give a confirmation before September 1. Birth and death registrations are done under the provisionsof the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969, and the corresponding rules made by states. The linking of Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) is already mandatory for filing Income-Tax returns, and for any bank transaction over Rs 50,000. The number is also mandatory for availing of some welfare schemes.