Proposed amendments to Registration of Births and Deaths Act unwarranted: CPI(M)
New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Thursday hit out at the government over reports that it has proposed amendments to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 to create a database of registered birth and deaths at the national level, saying that it is an “unwarranted step of centralisation”.
Currently, the registration of births and deaths comes under the purview of the state governments.
According to reports, the Centre has proposed amendments to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 that will enable it to maintain a database of registered births and deaths at the national level.
According to the proposed amendments, the database may be used to update the Population Register and the electoral register, and Aadhaar, ration card, passport and driving licence databases, the reports said.
In a statement, the CPI(M) said, “The proposed amendment of the law to enable the Centre to maintain the database of registered births and deaths at the national level is an unwarranted step of centralisation.”
The party alleged that the proposed amendment seeks to “facilitate the updating of the National Population Register (NPR) which is the basis on which the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is to be prepared”.
“This NPR-NRC, along with the Citizenship Amendment Act, is going to be an exclusionary and divisive step. Further, the centralisation of this database is meant to strengthen the surveillance regime already in place,” the statement said.
“The CPI(M) demands that the registration of births and deaths be continued under the jurisdiction of the states,” it said.
The NPR is a list of “usual residents” of the country. A “usual resident” is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
The NRC is a citizen enumeration exercise.