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What To Do If You Are Denied Services For Want Of Aadhaar Card Number, Tells UIDAI

UIDAI issued a series of tweets to clarify that essential services cannot be denied for lack of production of an Aadhaar card number.

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What To Do If You Are Denied Services For Want Of Aadhaar Card Number, Tells UIDAI

Unlawful denials of services for want of Aadhaar card number are punishable, said UIDAI.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has assured users that they cannot be denied an 'essential service' for lack of an Aadhaar card number. "Aadhaar enables people to establish their identity so that they receive their entitlements and exercise their rights without any fear of being excluded. Section 7 of Aadhaar Act 2016 has clear provision for no exclusion - no denials," The UIDAI said on its official Twitter handle @UIDAI. The Aadhaar card, the 12-digit identity number issued by UIDAI, is mandatory to be linked with many essential services like bank accounts, social security schemes, pension, mutual funds, mobile phone numbers, insurance policies etc. The last day for linking Aadhaar card number with these services is March 31 as of now.

However, many a times, reports have surfaced that people were denied basic services like admission into hospitals for lack of an Aadhaar card number. UIDAI, thus, issued a series of tweets to clarify that essential services cannot be denied for lack of production of an Aadhaar card number.

"If any official of a department denies an essential service because of lack of Aadhaar or lack of successful authentication due to technical or any such reasons, a complaint should be lodged with higher authorities of that department for such unlawful denials," UIDAI said.

"Unlawful denials are punishable under respective laws of the land. Under no circumstance, anyone can be denied an essential service just because s/he doesn't have an Aadhaar. Alternate means of identification and recording them in exception registers shall be followed.

"The regulations issued by UIDAI vide its circular dated 24th October 2017 (https://uidai.gov.in/images/tenders/Circular_relating_to_Exception_handling_25102017.pdf ...) for Exception Handling Mechanism (EHM) must be followed to make sure that no beneficiary is denied of benefits for the want of Aadhaar," UIDAI added.
     
UIDAI clearly specified under its circular titled 'Exception handling in Public Distribution Services and other welfare Schemes' the mechanisms that can be followed if someone has not been assigned an Aadhaar card number.

Here are six things you must know about it:

1. If an individual has not been assigned a valid Aadhaar card number, he /she will be provided with an 'alternate and viable means of identification' for delivery of the subsidy, benefit or service to the individual, stated UIDAI's statement.

2. Till the time Aadhaar card number is assigned to a beneficiary, he/she shall be provided the subsidy, benefit or service based on alternate identification document as notified by the concerned Ministry/Department.

3. In case the biometric authentication of an individual fails, he/she will be provided the required service/benefit based on the Aadhaar card number that he/she holds, stated the statement.
If biometric authentication of a senior in the family fails, another family member can receive the benefit if it is meant for a family-based scheme such as the public distribution system (PDS).

4. State governments and other authenticating agencies must make separate arrangements for bed-ridden senior citizens to get them authenticated, said the circular.

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5. If an agency implements the above steps, it needs to record it and get it verified by the beneficiary and also provide the necessary documents to support that such an exception was made for the concerned beneficiary.

6. The concerned ministry/department is also required to implement mechanism of audit and inspection of such exceptions.

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