NEW DELHI: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked state governments and entities to verify Aadhaar before accepting it either in the physical or electronic form to check its misuse, an official statement said on Thursday. The UIDAI said it maintains that verification of the Aadhaar number following the consent of the Aadhaar holder is the right step to establish the genuineness of any form of Aadhaar — Aadhaar letter, e-Aadhaar, Aadhaar PVC card, and m-Aadhaar, presented by an individual. “UIDAI has requested the state governments by emphasising the need for verification before usage and has urged the states to give necessary direction so that whenever Aadhaar is submitted as a proof of identity – authentication/verification of the residents performed by the concerned entity using Aadhaar as an identity document,” the statement said. UIDAI has also issued circulars to emphasise the necessity of verification and specify the protocol to be followed. “It prohibits unscrupulous elements and anti-social elements from indulging in any possible misuse. It also promotes usage hygiene and reasserts UIDAI’s stand that any 12-digit number is not an Aadhaar. Tampering of Aadhaar documents can be detected by offline verification, and tampering is a punishable offence and liable for penalties under Section 35 of the Aadhaar Act,” according to the statement. Any Aadhaar can be verified using the QR code available on all forms of Aadhaar using mAadhaarApp or Aadhaar QR code scanner. “The QR code scanner is freely available for both Android and iOS-based mobile phones, as well as window-based applications,” the statement noted. Aadhaar is accepted for around 1,000 government schemes and UIDAI is in active discussion with states to use the Aadhaar platform in various other schemes. It is voluntary for residents to use the Aadhaar number to establish their identity by presenting their Aadhaar either in paper or electronic form. UIDAI has issued over 135 crore Aadhaar to date.