The Lok Sabha on Thursday unanimously passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which aims to impose strict penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Bill to amend the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 and to further amend the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Participating in the debate, Prasad said the Bill was people-friendly and citizen-centric and that it would enable the UIDAI to have a more robust mechanism to serve public interest and act as a deterrent against the misuse of Aadhaar.
With the amendment to the Bill, Prasad claimed that 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 was so provided by a law made by the Parliament. The Bill will help the public in opening bank accounts and to use Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document, he said.
“The amendment will allow voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of the Aadhaar number holder. It will also allow the use of the 12-digit Aadhaar number and its alternative virtual identity to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual. The Bill also provides the option to the children, who are Aadhaar number holders, to cancel it on attaining adult age,” the Minister said.