Questions Raised After Malaysian National Gets Aadhaar Number
Anyone living in India for 182 days or more in the 12 months before applying for Aadhaar can get the unique identification number.
After a Malaysian citizen attained an Aadhaar number in Mangalore, Karnataka, the district administration has requested the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for clarity on the issue of foreigners getting the document.
The Deputy Commissioner of South Kannada District, Sasikanth Senthil, told the Times of India that the Aadhaar number is issued to all Indian residents. An Indian resident is anyone who has stayed in India for 182 days or more during the financial year, or has stayed in India for 60 days or more during the financial year and stayed for 365 days or more in the four years immediately preceding the said financial year.
Hoh Jian Meng (25), a student of medicine at one of the local medical colleges, had enrolled himself for an Aadhaar number, which has become necessary for bank transactions, and even for phone numbers. He has been living in India with a study visa. Meng’s personal details were published by newspapers even as critics raised issues about threat to national security.
However, anyone who has resided in India for a total of 182 days or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrollment in Aadhaar can get the unique identification number by submitting demographic and biometric details.
“We have asked UIDAI about documents submitted to obtain Aadhaar,” Senthil said. The administration does not use Aadhaar for any official purposes, nor does it confer any right or proof of citizenship or domicile in respect of an Aadhaar number holder, he added.
Some also questioned whether Aadhaar can be used to enroll foreigners as voters. However, Senthil clarified by saying that a local enquiry is conducted before adding or deleting names from the voters’ list. Documents are required to verify the date of birth of a voter as well as proof of residence and Aadhaar is not one among them.
The electoral issues were raised since Legislative Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Karnataka in 2018. The commissioner said that nearly 20,000 new people have applied for a voter card and almost the same number of people have sought deletion.