Brace your Aadhaar for your posthumous need! Yes, you read that right. Like the phrase goes about your karma following you everywhere, your Aadhaar or UID will be following you to the grave, as the Govt has now mandated that Aadhaar Number would be made mandatory for the Registration of Death in Govt records. The Notification has been published by the Registrar General of India, mandating that starting October 1st this year, Aadhaar Number would also need to be entered in the particulars furnished in Death Certificates. The purpose behind the move is to curb instances of identity falsification, obtain correct details of the relatives/dependents and acquaintances of the deceased; and avoid other people fraudulently claiming subsidies in the name of the deceased. Several subsidy/benefit distribution schemes have been integrated with Aadhaar, and linking it with Death Certificate will create an interconnected web of information regarding the beneficiaries.
However, notification also clarifies that non-availability of the detail will not result in a blatant refusal to provide Death Certificate. If the applicant is not aware of the Aadhaar details of the deceased, he could provide a certificate to the Authorities declaring that this is the case to the best of his/her knowledge. Furnishing false declarations to this effect would lead to a case of fraud, and the person would be liable under the Aadhaar Act and The Registration of Births and Deaths Act. It is also pertinent to note that Banks Accounts are also now largely linked with the holder’s Aadhaar Number, and it will enable them to close accounts easily and avoiding any chance of mistakes. The Authorities would also collect the Aadhaar numbers of the spouse/parents of the deceased, and that of the applicant as well.
The Ministry has exempted from the purview of the Notification, Meghalaya, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir; wherein Assam and Meghalaya are largely under a scheme of National Population Register and the majority population is not enrolled on the Aadhaar platform. Senior Citizens who are not yet enrolled on Aadhaar can do so by September 30th, and the State Departments of Birth and Death Registration are obligated to ensure compliance of the new provision from October 1st. The current position allows any document proving identity to be submitted to the Authorities for Registration purpose.
The move comes at a time when major controversies and protests are being raised by the public on the fear of privacy infringement, and the Supreme Court 9-Judge Bench ruling that privacy is not a Fundamental Right. Several other documents like PAN Card, Ration Card, Bank Account, Mobile Number, several etc. are presently linked to Aadhaar, and the Law Commission recently recommended linking Marriage Certificates with Aadhaar as well. The UID is now emerging into the quintessential identity document in India and is being made mandatory for availing a plethora of essential services; slowly shaping it into the center of all personal records of the holder.
So if you already do not possess Aadhaar, it is peak time to rush to your nearest Aadhaar Centre and get yourself enrolled.