UIDAI’s ‘Don’t Deny Services Over Aadhaar’ Order Dubbed Eyewash
Aadhaar-issuing authority UIDAI said no essential service or benefit like medical facility, school admission or rations through PDS can be denied for want of the biometric national ID.
In a statement, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) told the government departments and state administration, "There are exceptions handling regulations issued by UIDAI vide its circular dated 24 October 2017, which must be followed to make sure that no beneficiary is denied benefits for the want of Aadhaar."
UIDAI said it has taken a serious note of some reported cases, where want of Aadhaar resulted in the denial of essential services like hospitalisation or medical help.
"Real facts behind such claims of denial are being investigated by the concerned agencies and strict action will be taken in case denial has occurred," it said.
UIDAI said Aadhaar is meant to bring transparency and accountability in public service deliveries through effective use of technology and it should not be misused and made an excuse to deny any service.
The Cabinet Secretariat had on 19 December last year issued instructions that bonafide beneficiaries are not to be deprived of their due benefits as alternative provisions have been made in the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
The statement said UIDAI is again writing to Chief Secretaries of all the states/UTs to ensure that Section 7 of Aadhaar Act, 2016 is implemented in its true letter and spirit for all the schemes so that no denial happens for want of Aadhaar.
“Aadhaar enables people to establish their identity so that they receive their entitlements and exercise their rights without any fear of being excluded,” it said.
If one does not have Aadhaar or if Aadhaar online verification is not successful due to some reason, the agency or department has to provide the service using alternate means of identification and recording them in exception registers, which should be audited periodically by the higher authorities.
"If any official of a department denies a service for the lack of Aadhaar or lack of successful verification due to technical or any such reasons, a complaint should be lodged with the higher authorities of those departments for such unlawful denials," it added.
Many people claim that UIDAI’s statement is “eyewash”, as the directions need to come from the government, especially since in several instances rations, health and other services were denied to people without an Aadhaar identification.