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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Bill allowing voluntary use of Aadhaar gets parliament nod

The amendments to the Aadhaar Act essentially re-allow private firms to use the biometric platforms for purposes of identity verification or “know-your-customer” requirements.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2019 23:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The bill also provide for a Rs 1 crore penalty and jail term for private entities violating provisions on Aadhaar data.
The bill also provide for a Rs 1 crore penalty and jail term for private entities violating provisions on Aadhaar data.(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
         

The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which allows for voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity for consumers to open bank accounts and get mobile phone connections. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on July 4.

The bill also provide for a Rs 1 crore penalty and jail term for private entities violating provisions on Aadhaar data.

The amendments to the Aadhaar Act essentially re-allow private firms to use the biometric platforms for purposes of identity verification or “know-your-customer” requirements.

The Supreme Court, in its 2018 verdict, upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar with conditions. It struck down a part of Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that allowed private firms to use Aadhaar by way of a contract.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was introduced in Lok Sabha on June 24.

The amendments allow the use of Aadhaar number for KYC authentication on voluntary basis under the Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 replaces an ordinance issued in March 2019. On Monday, information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad moved the Bill for consideration and passage in the Upper House.

The use of Aadhaar is voluntary and informed consent of the biometric identity holder has to be obtained before it is used, he told the House.

“India has a population of 1.3 billion crore out of which 1.23 billion Indians have Aadhaar. There are 693.8 million e mobile numbers linked with Aadhaar and 659.1 million bank accounts linked with Aadhaar. We have sent Rs 7.48 lakh crore of direct transfers in more than 240 schemes to people around the country and we have saved Rs 1.41 lakh crore,” Prasad told the House.

First Published: Jul 08, 2019 21:17 IST

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