What is the Election Laws Amendment Bill, 2021? Here are few things you should know

The government introduced a bill on electoral reforms. The Bill seeks to link electoral rolls with the Aadhaar to weed out duplication in the electoral roll.
DELHI, India - Dec. 24, 2021 - PRLog -- The Election Laws Amendment Bill, allows electoral registration officers to seek Aadhaar number of people who want to register as voters, "To establish the identity." It will also let the electoral registration officers seek Aadhaar numbers from "persons who are already included in the electoral roll for authentication of entries in the electoral roll and to identify registration of the name of the same person in the electoral roll of more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency."

The intention of the Centre to introduce the Election Laws Amendment Bill

Election Laws Amendment Bill, 2021 was introduced by Kiren Rijiju, Union Law Minister in the Lok Sabha. The bill seeks to link electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem. Law Minister Rijiju clarified that Aadhar linking to Electoral Photo Identity Cards is voluntary. They also tabled some of the intentions behind the introduction of the Bill.

1. Eliminate the age-old problem of bogus and duplicate voter ID cards
2. Making voting rights portable especially for India living outside the country and migrant workers.
3. Section of Representation of the People's Act, 1950, and 1951 will be amended where the word 'wife' is to be replaced with 'spouse' in the statutes.

The passage of the bill happened amid objection and uproar from the opposition citing reasons as it violates privacy, legality issues and passed without a proper discussion. Let us look at the arguments given in favour of The Election Laws Amendment Bill, 2021, and the opposition's concern simultaneously.

Further Amendment to RP act, 1950 section 14 will allow four qualifying dates for eligible people to register themselves as voters. January 1 is the sole qualifying date for the people who will turn 18 on or before 1 January 2021. As of now, those who are turning 18 after this date will have to wait for another year. The bill, however, was passed through a voice vote in both the houses of the parliament.

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