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Would Yamaraja return Satyavan’s life to Savitri because he didn’t have an Aadhaar card?

“Aadhaar number is made mandatory for registration of death with effect from October 1, 2017,” tweeted PTI on Friday afternoon.

Our first reaction, like pretty much everyone else’s, was - errm, what?

So apparently, the Centre has made it mandatory to provide the Aadhaar number of the deceased before they issue death certificates. And if the person did not have an Aadhaar, or if the family does not have the Aadhaar details, they would have to make a declaration to this effect before the death certificate is issued.

An official statement released by the Registrar General of India under the Home Ministry said that the new rule made in order to prevent identity fraud, and also the need for producing multiple documents to prove a dead person's identity.

Twitter, of course, has erupted with immortality jokes, thanks both to the initial wording of the news on wire services, and the fact that Aadhaar is increasingly becoming mandatory for a host of things, despite the matter still being heard by the Supreme Court.

Some uncovered the actual reason why Yamaraja returned Savitri’s husband.

Others wondered whether gravestones, too, would need Aadhaar numbers.

Some understood how Aadhaar has now become part of our lives and can’t leave even after death.

An official statement by the Home Ministry said on Friday that the government has directed those applying for a death certificate to provide the deceased's Aadhaar number.

The Registrar General of India, under the Home Ministry, has issued directions to states to ensure compliance by registration authorities, it said.

"The use of Aadhaar for the applicants of death certificate will result in ensuring accuracy of the details provided by the relatives, dependents, acquaintances of the deceased. It will provide an effective method to prevent identity fraud. It will also help in recording the identity of the deceased person. Further, it will obviate the need for producing multiple documents to prove the identity of the deceased person," the statement said.

The statement also said that an applicant who is not aware of the deceased's Aadhaar number or Enrolment ID Number will have to submit a certificate that the deceased person does not possess Aadhaar number.

If the applicant gives false declaration, it will be treated as "an offence as per the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and also Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969", it said.

"Applicant’s Aadhaar number shall also be collected along with the Aadhaar number of the spouse or parents," a PIB release said.

The government has already made Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns, and provided for linking of PAN with Aadhaar to curb tax evasion through use of multiple PAN cards, along with linking it with bank accounts for welfare schemes.

It is also pushing for making Aadhaar mandatory for securing a driving license and vehicle registration to check bogus licenses and create national database, and marriage certifications.

(Inputs from IANS.)