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Express news service : New Delhi, Tue Aug 14 2012,

Delhi government officials have detected a large number of fraudulent enrolments in the first phase of Aadhaar that ended in February after registering 1.3 crore people in the city.

Officials in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said on Monday many people got themselves enrolled without providing their biometric identification. The “biometric exception” clause is essentially meant for rarest-of-the-rare cases, say, for people with high degree of physical disabilities, they said.

“We are going to take this up with the UIDAI. It is a major security threat. A rigorous protocol needs to be followed for enrolling individuals under this clause,” Principal Secretary (Revenue) Vijay Dev said.

Another security threat, which even the Union Home Ministry is concerned about, has been non-verification of the residential and other addresses provided by those who got enrolled in the first phase, Dev said.

“To complete the enrolment process for the remaining population, verification of address has been made mandatory. We have learnt that the UIDAI would make alternative arrangements to deliver the UID cards and letters. Several letters have returned undelivered in Phase-I. There have been cases of letters being found in dustbins,” he said.

The UIDAI has asked the Postal department to redirect letters to a changed address if the person has formally informed the post office about it.

Deputy Director General of UIDAI’s Delhi zone Sujata Chaturvedi admitted that the irregularities in the biometric clause have been detected and “the guilty officials were penalised”.

“For Phase-II, we will deploy retired government officials as verification agents to look at the documents at all centres. We didn’t do that in Phase-I. We are streamlining this process across all the states and Union Territories to be covered over the next 18 months in Phase-II. There is no security threat,” Chaturvedi said.

Officials said they would try to prevent fraudulent enrolments when Phase-II of Aadhaar is launched this week to register 40 lakh people in the city.

In the National Capital Territory of Delhi, a total of 1,30,60,329 enrolments were done till February against a targeted population of 1,67,53,235.

UIDAI officials said 1,14,18,763 letters have been generated, of which 1,03,12,792 were delivered.