Births & deaths amendment bill makes Aadhaar mandatory, raises penalty

The proposed legislation also makes it mandatory for states to share the data of registered births and deaths with the Centre

NEW DELHI | Updated: 26 July, 2023 4:42 pm IST
The bill was introduced by Union

NEW DELHI: The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill 2023, introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, seeks to make the Aadhaar card mandatory for birth certificates and raises the penalty amount to ₹1000 from ₹50 in some cases.

Parents who already possess an Aadhaar card will have to furnish its details in the application form for the registration of their newly-born child. Those who don’t have an Aadhaar card are exempted from this requirement.

As per the draft copy accessed by The New Indian, the amendments have been introduced to “keep pace with societal changes and technological advancements” and to “make it more citizen-friendly.”

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The original Act makes it mandatory to furnish information on the “several particulars” prescribed by the relevant registrar for the registration of births. The proposed amendment seeks to replace the term “several particulars” with “including the Aadhaar number of parents and the informant, if available, in the case of birth” in section 8, which deals with the information about persons required for such registrations.

The amendment bill lists the collection of Aadhaar numbers of parents among its objectives.

The bill raises the penalty amount from ₹10 to ₹150 and ₹50 to ₹250 for specified offenses. For any offense not specified in the bill, the penalty has been increased from ₹50 to ₹1000.

In the last week of June, the Central government allowed the Registrar General of India (RGI) to conduct Aadhaar authentication during the registration of births. The amendments will give legal backing to the government’s directive.

Currently, Aadhaar is not mandatory for such registrations.

The bill also mandates states to share data on registered births and deaths with the RGI, which operates under the home ministry, for maintaining its own register. Presently, states are only required to send annual statistical reports to the RGI.

The government states in the bill that such a centralized database would help update other databases “resulting in efficient and transparent delivery of public services and social benefits.”

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If passed, the bill will enable citizens to register and obtain certificates for births and deaths digitally. It will also make the birth certificate a single document to prove the date and place of birth for purposes such as school admission, driving licenses, voter lists, marriage registration, government jobs, passport, and Aadhaar number.

If passed, it will also facilitate the registration process for adopted, orphaned, abandoned, surrendered, surrogate children, and children of single parents or unwed mothers.

The legislation will make it compulsory for all medical institutions to provide a certificate listing the cause of death to the registrar.

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