Even as the debate over the validity of Aadhaar and concerns around data security continue, the Modi government has begun the process of linking driving licences with Aadhaar numbers. A software for this covering all States was being readied, the Supreme Court was informed. A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta was informed about it by a court-appointed committee on road safety headed by former SC judge Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan.
The committee, in its report filed in the top court, said it had held a meeting on November 28 last year with the joint secretary of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to discuss several issues, including procurement of fake licences and how to eliminate it.
“On the issue of fake licences, joint secretary, MoRTH informed that NIC is now preparing ‘Sarthi-4’ under which all the licences would be linked to Aadhaar,” the report said.
“This software will cover all the states on real-time basis and it will not be possible for anyone to get a duplicate or fake licence anywhere in the country,” it said.
The advocate representing the committee, told the bench that the panel was scheduled to have a meeting with the MoRTH and other authorities concerned on February 22-23 to discuss compliance of directions given by the apex court earlier.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the ministry, told the Bench that fatalities in road accidents in India have gone down by around three percent in 2017 as compared to 2016.
The Bench said it was “heartening to know” that number of fatalities and injuries in road accidents have come down.
In its report, the committee said it had asked States and Union Territories (UTs) to forward road accident data for entire 2017.
“The committee has since received data from all the States/UTs, except Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Daman and Diu which indicates that in the States/UTs which have submitted data, there has been a reduction of 4,558 fatalities i.e. 3.0%, and 24,023 injuries, i.e. 5.0% in 2017 as compared to 2016,” the report said.
The committee told the court that through its November 24 last year letter, it had asked all the States to set up a road safety fund which would be non-lapsable and to have a steady flow of funds by diversion of “significant” portion of fines collected from traffic violations.