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Monday, April 30, 2012

Aadhaar card fraud exposes registration process errors

Aadhaar card fraud exposes registration process errors

TNN | Apr 30, 2012, 03.14AM IST
HYDERABAD: The loopholes which surfaced in the Aadhaar card registration process in the city had raised a big question mark on the claims of 100% Unique Identity (UID) enrollment done in the capital and elsewhere in the state.

According to civil supplies department, which is the nodal agency for Aadhaar card enrollment in the state, so far 5.35 crore citizens had enrolled for Aadhaar card in the state against the target of eight crore population. In Hyderabad, the entire 47 lakh population (100%) have been enrolled, civil supplies officials said.

The latest fraud, where Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) staff had enrolled 30,000 people, including 870 people under Biometric Exception category in Old City, has revealed the vulnerability of the Aadhaar registration process.

Activists, who have been protesting against UID since its inception, claim that loopholes in the enrollment process make it necessary to cross check the registrations done so far. "The fraud proves that in a 100% Aadhaar-enrolled city like Hyderabad, 30,000 cards have been registered in a part of the city by exploiting those loopholes. It means similar frauds might have happened in other parts of the city, state and the country. So, how can anyone believe in genuineness of the card?" anti-UID activist Vinay Bhaindur questioned.

Civil supplies department director KRBHN Chakravarthy told TOI that operators working for IL&FS have to take the blame first for the fraud and then officials of the civil supplies department, who are supervising them. "Some enrollments were made at midnight when even the registration centres are not open. Police investigation is on and we have to see what exactly has gone wrong and who has done it and for what purpose," the director said.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) deputy director-general Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that the identified loopholes have been fixed and they would cross verify the entire enrollment work done in other parts of the country to find out if similar frauds have occurred there.

As police have intensified probe by sending a long questionnaire to UIDAI officials, scared top representatives of the agency are reportedly putting pressure on investigators to hush up the matter.

Police have not made any arrests in the case so far. They are waiting for response from the UIDAI to proceed further on fixing up responsibility for the fraud.

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