Aadhaar Amendment Bill to be introduced in coming Parliament session
New Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a Bill to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar as identity proof for opening bank accounts and procuring mobile phone connections.
The Bill -- which will be in form of amendment to Aadhaar Act 2016 and other laws and will replace an ordinance issued in March, 2019 -- also proposes stiff penalties for violation of norms.
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will be introduced in the ensuing session of Parliament, beginning June 17.
"For the convenience of general public in opening of bank accounts, the proposed amendments would allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC (Know Your Customer) document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002," an official release said.
Put simply, this means it will allow voluntary use of Aadhaar number for authentication and identity proof in opening of bank accounts and procuring of mobile phone connections.
The Bill seeks to giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age, while stipulating stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy.
"The decision would enable UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhaar...Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament," the release said.
The move is aimed at making Aadhaar "people friendly", it added.
The amendments proposed are the same as those contained in the Ordinance promulgated by President on March 2, 2019. The changes provide for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar number holder. It will also pave the way for use of alternative virtual identity number to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual.