The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Saturday asserted that no one should be denied vaccine, medicine, hospitalisation or treatment just because they do not have an Aadhaar.

The UIDAI made it clear that Aadhaar should not be misused as an excuse for denial of any essential service. The statement assumes significance given the second severe wave of Covid-19 pandemic, which has swept through the nation.

In a statement, the UIDAI said there is a well-established exception handling mechanism (EHM) for Aadhaar, and that it should be followed to ensure delivery of benefits and services in the absence of the 12-digit biometric ID.

If a resident does not possess Aadhaar for some or the other reason, they must not be denied essential services as per Aadhaar Act.

"No one shall be denied vaccine, medicine, hospitalisation or treatment for want of Aadhaar," UIDAI said flagging certain reports which claimed that some essential services like hospitalisation, were being denied to the residents for want of Aadhaar.

If one does not have Aadhaar or if Aadhaar online verification is not successful due to some reason, the concerned agency or department has to provide the service as per specific norms laid out in Aadhaar Act, 2016, it informed.

The Aadhaar-issuing body has advised that in case of any such denial of service or benefit, the matter should be brought to the notice of the higher authorities of concerned departments.

The UIDAI emphasised that Aadhaar is meant to bring transparency and accountability in public service deliveries through effective use of technology and there are exception handling regulations issued by it through circular dated October 24, 2017, to ensure that no beneficiary is denied of benefits/services for the want of Aadhaar.

"Also, relevant provisions are there in the Aadhaar Act under Section 7 to ensure that there is no exclusion and no denials. Further, the Cabinet Secretariat OM dated 19 December 2017 has clearly explained the exception handling mechanism by using alternate means of identification for extending benefits and services to the residents who do not posses Aadhaar or in cases where Aadhaar authentication is not successful due to any reason," UIDAI said.

India in a day recorded 3,26,098 Covid-19 cases that took the tally to 2,43,72,907, while 3,890 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,66,207, according to Union health ministry data updated on Saturday.

The total number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 18 crore mark.