Union Cabinet has approved “The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” for introduction in Parliament. It replaces Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. The bill envisages strengthening of Aadhaar Act as per directions of Supreme Court and recommendations of Justice B.N.Srikrishna(Retd) Committee on privacy.
Salient features of Bill
- It prevents denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to undergo authentication of Aadhaar unless it is so provided by law enacted by Parliament.
- It allows voluntary use of Aadhaar number in electronic or physical form by authentication or offline verification with consent of Aadhaar number holder;
- It provides for use of 12-digit Aadhaar number and its alternative virtual identity (VID) to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual,
- It allows use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and Telegraph Act, 1885, for convenience of the general public in opening of bank accounts.
- It gives option to children who are Aadhaar number holders to cancel their Aadhaar number on attaining the age of eighteen years.
- It proposes deletion of section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to use of Aadhaar by private entities. It prevents denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to, undergo authentication.
- It provides for establishment of Unique Identification Authority of India Fund. It provides civil penalties, its adjudication, appeal thereof in regard to violations of Aadhaar Act and provisions by entities in the Aadhaar ecosystem.