At a time when the Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions about Aadhaar and its continuation and ramifications, the ticket vendor of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches has made it mandatory.
“Mera Events wants Aadhaar card number to book IPL tickets. Why? There is no other choice of IDs that it is willing to take. Aadhaar card for government schemes can be understood. Aadhaar as unique ID to link all the tax, income and related transactions makes sense… but cricket tickets? Is there any sanctity to this number at all,” asked Madhavi Kuram, after she tried booking tickets for the Hyderabad match.
Online ticket buyers have to necessarily share their Aadhaar details to purchase tickets. “Aadhaar has been made mandatory to avoid any fraudulent sale or ticket-blocking being done using multiple ID proofs. However, your details won’t be misused or shared with anyone. These details will be encrypted and safely stored,” was the reply from Mera Events when Ms Kuram persisted.
Ironically, while the Aadhaar numbers are being collected online for selling tickets, there is no biometric verification of identities at the stadium. The stated purpose of fraudulent sale turns out to be a sham if the tickets are not verified at the stadium.
A few days ago, the Supreme Court pulled up telecom companies for insisting on Aadhaar linkage. Later, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan issued a diktat to telecom companies against insisting on Aadhaar and asked them to accept alternative identity proofs such as driving licence, voter ID and passport.
“Making Aadhaar mandatory is a violation of Supreme Court orders till now. However, under the Act anybody can demand anyone’s Aadhaar number. The issue is only when you don’t protect the information,” says Srinivas Kodali, a tech security whistle-blower.