There are many documents that can be used as an identity card – a card that identifies a particular individual, say a citizen of India. Although India has rolled out Unique Identification Numbers (UID) through a specialized identity card, voter card is also deemed as a valuable identity card.
Take a look at how this card acts as a means to identify a voter, and how it can be used to get services that are offered to Indians.
A Valid Identity Card
It is necessary to have a proof of identity to get electricity, landline phones, cell phones, SIM-cards, buy various types of tickets, or simply exercise one’s franchise.
Years back, a multipurpose National Identity Card was issued in India. Slowly, many documents became a proof of identity, such as PAN Card, driving license, ration card, and so on. In a unique identification project, the government introduced unique number based I-card under “AADHAAR” scheme. Today, identity card is a must to avail services, certify one’s credentials, and carry-on various tasks that are meant for the public.
Importance of Identity Card
In many cases, it was noticed that ration, subsidized food, and financial grants were being pilfered through bogus transactions. Some people took away grants that were not allotted to them by impersonating the eligible candidates.
Bogus voting too, took place in India where lack of photo-identity cards allowed dubious people to cast votes which were not theirs. To check this menace, identity cards were issued with a valid number or identification mark that was unique to one individual only.
Voter Card as EPIC Scheme
Many voters lost their rights to cast vote because someone else tricked them by wrongfully casting their votes. The amendment of the R.P. Act, allowed the Election Commission to issue Elector’s Photo Identity Cards (EPIC). According to the EPIC scheme, the voters would be given an I-card known as voter’s ID card where the photograph of the voter would also be provided. This option would help to check the menace cross-voting.
The voter card under EPIC scheme was introduced in 1979 for the Sikkim State Assembly Elections. Soon Assam and Meghalaya was brought into this scheme. From 1993, the EPIC-based voter card has become the norm to be adopted for all elections. Those who have their names listed in the voter’s list are eligible for voter card or election ID card. You can get a duplicate I-card provided to make an FIR of the same and submit a form, other documents along with the FIR.
Voter ID Card Used as Identity Card
Voter ID card or EPIC is used as an ID-card to exercise one’s franchise. However, in many cases, it is used as a proof of identity to get a job done. For instance, the government has already release a notification that those travelers boarding railways reserved tickets (under Tatkal Scheme or tickets booked through IRCTC website) would need to furnish proof of identity. If you have a voter card, you would have no hassle in meeting this demand. As mentioned above, producing an identity card is also essential for tickets under Tatkal scheme, AC-compartment tickets or tickets got through the net. The authorities issued a rule to use I-cards to stop misuse of reserved seats from touts.
In short, voter ID card is a proof of identity that indicates that the owner is the rightful citizen of India and has valid rights by virtue of being the citizen.