Window closing for Aadhaar-driving licence link law
The government is racing against time to implement the mandatory linking of Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identity number, with driving licences — a proposal that is part of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill. Activists fear that the legislation may lapse if not passed in the current Parliament session.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday the government will change the law to make it mandatory for linking Aadhaar with driving licences in a bid to avoid duplication of the latter.
The bill that seeks to amend Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is aimed at ushering in reforms in the transport sector. It was passed in the Lok Sabha in 2017, and is awaiting Rajya Sabha’s approval. According to Parliament rules, a bill which originates in the Lok Sabha and gets passed there, can lapse if not passed in the Rajya Sabha.
“We fear the Bill may lapse if not passed in the current session. We had proposed to the transport ministry to table a separate Bill for road safety...that could not be implemented. There are still many clauses in the Bill that do not address road safety issues, and in case the Bill lapses, we may propose a road safety Bill again. What is most troubling is that the Bill has not been listed even once,” said Piyush Tewari, CEO of NGO Save Life Foundation.
HT had earlier reported that the Centre may not amend opposing clauses in the Bill in the Upper House.
“We are all for early passage and enactment of the amended Bill in the current session of Parliament, but the Rajya Sabha is not being allowed to function by various parties. However, it is the individual citizen whose interest should be foremost rather than a squabble over federalism,” said Majeed Memon, a Member of Parliament (MP) of the Nationalist Congress Party.
Senior officials at the ministry of road transport and highways say that the Bill still has some time before it lapses. “It can be tabled in the budget session of Parliament also and it won’t lapse till then,” a transport ministry official said speaking on the condition of anonymity.