The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed by the Rajya Sabha yesterday at 10:40 PM after only 33 minutes of discussion in the House. Only 6 MPs took part in the discussions on the bill. The bill was previously been passed by the Lok Sabha on August 1, 2023.
MP Sulata Deo while supporting the bill said that the bill will address the problems related to getting birth and death certificates especially in rural areas. She further stated that digital registration of births and deaths will make the registration & access process easier.
She further said that the bill will make documentation easier as only one birth certificate would be sufficient for all govt processes. The bill will also automatically add persons crossing 18 years to voter rolls and similarly delete persons who have passed away.
Seema Dwivedi, MP while supporting the bill, said that this bill will make access to documents like passport, Aadhaar, drivers licence, etc easier. The difficulty in obtaining a birth and death certificate will be resolved through this bill.
MP Subas Chandra Bose Pilli supported the bill but raised concerns over the lack of clarity of ‘authorities’ which will use the national database as notified by the Union govt. The bill also does not have a clear definition of authorities which will have access to personal data.
Dr. M. Thambidurai, MP cited the illustration of Tamil Nadu where one person votes 3-4 times and often votes are cast on behalf of dead persons. He stated his opinion about every election seeing lakhs of false votes and thus voiced his support for the bill & to curb this practice.
Vijayasai Reddy V, MP rose in support of the bill. He requested the Ministry to incorporate the data being collected in the state governments with respect to registration of births & death in the national database. He urged the Ministry to ensure no leak in the database.
Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Home Affairs said that the draft of the amended bill was taken up only after consulting with all relevant ministries, departments, & other stakeholders, & was also put up for public consultation. He then proceeded to list a range of benefits of the bill.
He said that this bill will digitalise the process of registering births and deaths, which was earlier done through physical registration. He indicated the intention to create a birth certificate within 7 days & to create a public database which will make proving date of birth very easy.