As a special measure to enrol inmates lodged in prisons across the country, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has agreed to accept the Prisoner Induction Document (PID) as a valid supporting document for enrolment/update of Aadhaar.
Though the campaign to extend Aadhaar facility to prisoners was launched in 2017, the process did not take off on expected lines since enrolment to the scheme required valid supporting documents prescribed by the UIDAI. In a move to simplify the process and make Aadhar available to all prisoners, the authority decided to accept the PID generated from the ‘ePrison’ module and certified by the authorised Prison Officer with his signature and seal, for enrolment of Aadhaar, police sources said on Friday.
As on December 31, 2021, the National Crime Records Bureau has reported that there were 1,319 prisons in the country, including 148 Central Jails, 424 District Jails, 564 Sub-Jails, 32 Women Jails and 10 Borstal Schools among others, with an inmate population of about 5.5 lakh.
Section 57 of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 allows the use of the Aadhaar Number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose provided that the use of the Aadhaar Number is subject to the procedure and obligations under section 8 and Chapter VI of the Act.
Home Affairs Ministry rolls out SOP for prison enrolments
In a note to Heads of Prisons in all States/Union Territories on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs called for making use of the special dispensation made available by the UIDAI and facilitating the enrolment/updating of Aadhaar cards for prison inmates by conducting special camps at all prisons.
The overall Aadhaar saturation level in the country has crossed 93%, and in the case of the adult population it is nearly 100%. Continuing with the ongoing measures to enroll all eligible residents for Aadhaar, it was decided to conduct regular Aadhaar enrolment camps at the jails in co-ordination with State governments to provide Aadhaar enrolment/update services to the prisoners, the MHA said and rolled out a Standard Operating Procedure to be followed for such enrolments.
By enrolling prisoners to Aadhaar, various aspects of day-to-day prison administration like production before court, return to prison, transport, health facilities, shifting to hospital outside the campus, interviews, free legal aid, parole, temporary release mechanisms, education/vocational training, release from prisons etc. could be regulated by the use of Aadhaar, the MHA said.