A sting operation conducted by Cobrapost has exposed how government officials across the country have been offering to forge documents in order to provide Aadhaar cards to illegal immigrants.
The sting, which exposes how illegal immigrants from Nepal and Bangladesh have been offered Aadhaar cards without any proof, also exposes MLAs and Gazetted Officers who sign off on forged documents required to provide Aadhaar cards.
Cobrapost claims that the Aadhaar cards have been offered to illegal immigrants without any retina or fingerprint details at a price ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 2500.
On Monday, the Supreme Court told the centre in a directive, that the card could not be made mandatory to avail government schemes, adding that no government department should have access to personal data of individuals.
Significantly, On 23 September the Supreme Court had said, "In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card in spite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar card voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant."
In its response, the UIDAI submitted that Aadhaar is stated to be a proof of identity and there are other agencies to perform the task of verifying citizenship and detecting illegal immigrants. "UIDAI has been mandated to provide Aadhaar to resident of India as a matter of conscious policy decision of government. Aadhaar is upfront stated to be a proof of identity not citizenship. It may be mentioned the government has specific agencies to perform the task of verifying citizenship and detecting illegal immigrants," it had said.
Here are excerpts from twelve cases where Cobrapost has exposed the business of making Aadhaar cards for illegal immigrants who approach without any proof of identity. Firstpost does not vouch for the authenticity of the video below.
#1: Asif Chaudhary, 169, CPA Block, New Seelampur, Delhi
In a dingy office in New Seelampur in the capital, Asif Chaudhary, appears to be the incharge of an Aadhaar Camp. This area being home to a lot of illegal Bangladeshi migrants, the rush to get an Aadhaar Card made seems justifiable, as without any proof of identity the migrants cannot avail the government provided benefits, the other locals can. With nowhere to go, the immigrants turn up at his office and he is more than willing to help. When our reporter presents his case, Asif says, "It will cost Rs 500". When our reporter tells him that it is free everywhere, he replies, "No, no here. We are a private franchise."
#2: Farman Ali, SDM Office, Kotwali, Kashmere Gate, Delhi
For Farman Ali, the interest is in getting an Aadhaar Card made. "If we make 100 genuine cards in a day, we also make 10 fake ones," this statement of Farman Ali shows that the Aadhaar centre he is in-charge of alone generates 10 percent fake identities. For any person without any proof of identity, Farman Ali is willing to provide all help. It is not restricted to getting an Aadhaar Card made only.
#3: Ravindra Kumar, DM office, Jam Nagar House, ShahJahan Road, New Delhi
Initially reluctant, Ravindra Kumar, the Aadhaar Officer says that if caught he stands to lose his monthly salary of seven thousand rupees. When our reporter inquires about the proof of identity, Ravindra Kumar says, "Give me the address. I will make your documents, will get it signed by the MLA. Don't worry." we wonder if the honourable MLA or the local councilor is taking cognizance of this.
#4: Sadam, SDM office, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi
Sadam, the Aadhaar Officer is reluctant to speak and constantly indicates to talk on phone first. Our reporter informs him of the refugee status of the applicant and Sadam says it shall cost fifteen hundred rupees to make two Aadhaar cards. Proof of identity, however is certainly not mandatory.
#5: Suraj, Rajkiye Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Block- 2, Trilokpuri, New Delhi
It doesn't deter Suraj if the fake Aadhaar Cards are being made for Bangladeshi immigrants. He is quick to sign off with, "This is India. Everything is possible here." Do we need to say anything more?
#6: Aditya and Mohit, SDM Office, Karol Bagh, New Delhi
At the SDM office in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, the officer in charge and the applicant initially bond on their refugee status. Later it is revealed that there is an established nexus between the MLAs and these identity verifying officers. Aditya alleges MLA'S do not take money but their personal assistants do and their purpose is revealed when he says, "Because this is election time. They need the money."
#7: LB Paswan, SDM office Laxmi Nagar Delhi
The Aadhaar camp at the SDM Office at Laxmi Nagar, New Delhi functions through touts and Aadhaar Officers. Aryan, a tout is confident about the work he does when he says, "I have just told you about one. I have just made four cards without proper ID. This is our work." LB Paswan, the Aadhaar Officer is quick to negate the tout's claim and make himself sound righteous, "He is not a UID official. He is a broker."
#8: Raj, Nand Nagri, Delhi
There may be a rulebook for Aadhaar but if a gazetted officer can stamp your identity documents, where is the need to be worried about a proof of identity? Raj, the Aadhaar Officer, first cites the rule book but then agrees to get the work done, "See you have to get it stamped by gazetted officer. But after that, I can take care of everything."
#9: Ravan, DC Office, Gurgaon
Ravan, the Aadhaar Officer at the DC office in Gurgaon is right in refusing initially. He says, "No Sir, not for Nepal. This is only for India." He later says he shall charge Rs 5,000 because the candidate is a Nepali. To check the authenticity, our reporter asks him if the Aadhaar Card would be genuine and he almost instantly replies, "You will get the original stuff."
#10: Sajid Ali, GTB Complex, Near CBI New Market Branch, New Market, Bhopal
Sajid Ali is one convenient Aadhaar officer. The moment he tells our reporter who is an immigrant applicant, "We will come there in the evening. Meet us there at the room. We can make your card there itself. The machine is portable. It can fit in my bag. I can carry it," we wonder if UIDAI has given its consent to such convenience?
You can read the entire Cobrapost expose here.
Updated Date: Mar 25, 2014 09:33:05 IST