The Department of Posts announced on September 10, 2018 that Aadhaar was not mandatory for booking an International Parcel.
The department clarified that it is mandatory to produce a copy of an identity proof acceptable for important transactions like booking an International parcel or International EMS (Merchandise) for safety and security reasons.
However, it said that Aadhaar was not a mandatory document to be produced at the time of booking, but just one of the accepted identity proofs along with others like driving license, passport and voter ID.
Further, the department clarified that all such documents were only required for office record and were not required to be pasted on the consignments.
• The clarification followed publishing of a news report with the heading ‘India Post asks for display of Aadhaar number on parcels’ in one of India’s leading newspapers.
• The department said that it appears that the confusion was created by an erroneous message generated from the twitter account of the office of the Chief Postmaster General, Delhi Circle where it was mentioned that pasting of ID proof on consignments is in accordance with international guidelines.
• Following the incident, instructions have been reiterated to the post offices to ensure smooth booking of articles taking the convenience and regulatory requirements into account together.
• In another Aadhaar related incident, the Unique Identification Authority of India had clarified that schools cannot refuse admission to students for the lack of Aadhaar Card. The authority had asserted that denial of admission on such grounds is “invalid” and is not permitted under the law.
The constitutional validity of the biometric ID system is currently being contested in the Supreme Court, as people feel that mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phones and government schemes is a violation of their right to privacy, a fundamental right.
The Supreme Court, after a marathon hearing, had on May 10 reserved its verdict on the batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law.
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