The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved “The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” to replace the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. The amendments proposed are the same as those contained in the Ordinance promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on March 2, 2019. The Bill will be introduced in next session of Parliament.
Among others, it allows for voluntary use of Aadhaar as an identity proof for opening bank accounts as well as procuring mobile phone connections. The Bill seeks to give effect to the changes in the Aadhaar Act, such as giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on turning 18.
The amendment provides for stiff penalties upon violation of norms pertaining to Aadhaar, and violation of privacy. It prohibits storing of core biometric information and the Aadhaar number by service providers, in cases of individuals who have voluntarily offered the national ID as a means of authentication.
The proposed amendments would allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable ‘Know Your Customer’ document under the Telegraph Act, 1885, as well as the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The changes proposed under the Ordinance, introduced in February, included a civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on entities that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, with an additional fine of up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of continuous non-compliance. The Ordinance was promulgated by the President on March 2.