20,000 Aadhaar card numbers leaked on Punjab Govt Website

The Aadhaar card numbers of over 20,000 individuals were published on a website of Punjab government, becoming the latest among a series of privacy breaches by government organisations in relation to Aadhaar card.

Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) had earlier invited applications for low-cost housing from the economically weaker sections in Ludhiana and Jagraon under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) programme. Following this, the names of the applicants, their Aadhaar card numbers and that of their fathers’ were then put up on their website. The GLADA officials, however, seemed unsure as to how these details ended up online. Although the links were removed from the website by Monday evening, the list remained accessible to anyone who had the direct link on Tuesday as well.

The Aadhaar card number is a twelve digit identity number linked to a person’s biometric details that have become increasingly mandatory for citizens to avail any kind of government service. As per Section 29 (4) of the Aadhaar Act, no Aadhaar number or core biometric information can be published, displayed or posted publicly, except for specified purposes and violation of the same is punishable by up to three years of imprisonment.

The Supreme Court is currently determining whether the Aadhaar program is a violation of an individual’s right to privacy.

News Source: Hindustan Times, OneIndia

Image Source: Hindustan Times

UP Government makes marriage registration compulsory for residents

On August 1, 2017, the Uttar Pradesh government passed a motion, making marriage registration compulsory for all the residents, irrespective of their religion. The meeting headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath accepted the Uttar Pradesh Marriage Registration Rules-2017, which imposes penalties for delay in the registration.

Provisions have also been made for the couples to file online. The Aadhaar number of the husband and wife will have to be provided in the application form. However, those who fail to make the registrations on any medium available, are liable to a penalty of Rs 10 and Rs. 50 per year thereon.

According to reports in Hindustan Times and Times of India, people from the Muslim community have raised their objection to this rule, stating that the Islamic marriage contract should not have photographs of the couple. Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said “Yes, they made such a demand because the nikahnama does not carry images. But if photographs can be submitted to procure documents such as Aadhaar cards, I don’t see why the same cannot be done for marriage registration.”

In accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision, the central government had made marriage registration compulsory across India in 2006. But Uttar Pradesh was among the two states that failed to implement this rule at that time.