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What is Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018?

Narendra Kumar

| Updated: Feb 08, 2019 | Category: Legal, Legal Law

Aadhar Amendment bill

Indian Government recently brought some changes in the Aadhar Bill for the benefit of Indian Citizen. Aadhaar Amendment bill contains various provisions that will enable the parliament to create a new law for mandatory linking of Aadhar number. Aadhaar Amendment bill will definitely allow the government to avoid the Supreme Court’s order that restricted use of Aadhaar to only services where the government provides a subsidy.

In this blog, we will discuss the various aspects of Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

What is Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 all about?

The Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 2nd January 2019 and it was passed on 4th of January, 2019. The Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend various section of Aadhar (Target delivery of financial and other subsidies, benefits, and services) Act, 2016, The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and The Money Laundering Act, 2002.

  • Central Government introduced The Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in Lok Sabha.
  • The Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 proposes changes in the Aadhar Act, Indian Telegraph Act, and The Money Laundering Act to comply with Judgment of Supreme Court in which Constitutional validity of unique identification project was upheld.
  • The Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 also makes it clear that anyone who is not offering Aadhar cannot be denied any service including service of bank account or a SIM card.
  • The Aadhaar amendment bill states that individuals are not required to submit any biometric or demographic information to data servers of the Unique Identity Authority of India(UIDAI)

Acts amended by Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018

The following acts are amended by Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018:

  • Indian Telegraph Act, 1885

As per the Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018, a user can voluntarily identify himself/herself through Aadhar Authentification and Offline verification. In Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 nowhere it is stated that Aadhar has to compulsorily used for verification of the identity of a person.

  • Money Laundering Act, 2002

Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 made amendment in the Money Laundering Act, 2002. The Aadhar amendment bill permits voluntary use of Aadhar to identify verification by banks before opening bank accounts.

What is the role of The Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018?

The Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 plays a vital role in the matter of identification of a person.

  • The proposed Aadhaar amendment bill allows private bodies like banks and telecoms to use Aadhar as one of the Know your custom (KYC) methods for authentication of the users.
  • As per Aadhar Amendment Bill telecom companies, bank and financial institutions are entitled to verify the identity of their customers and clients by offline verification of Aadhar, Passport.
  • The customers or clients now have the choice to use any modes as discussed above to verify their identity.
  • As per the Aadhar amendment bill, no one can be denied to get any service for not having the Aadhar number.

Reason for amendment of Aadhar Bill, 2018

This bill is one of the most awaited one. There is an important and appropriate reason behind the amendment of Aadhar Bill.

  • Supreme Court now mandates private entities like telecom companies and other corporate entities to avail of the biometric Aadhar data.
  • To address the issues like recognizing the authentication of those who provided Aadhar card as an identity proof, Government of Indian proposed to bring and enact Aadhar amendment bill, 2018.

What are the benefits of Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018?

There are numerous benefits of Aadhar and other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018. List of some of the benefits of Aadhar Amendment Bill, 2018 are discussed below:

1. Offline Verification of Aadhar Number Holder

Under the Aadhar Act, 2016, the identity of an individual can be verified by Aadhar authentication. Aadhar authentication involves submission of the Aadhar number and biometric information to the Central Identities Data Registry for verification.

Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018, allows the offline verification of an individual’s identity without any authentication.

2. Filing of Complaints

As per provision of the Aadhar Act, 2016, Courts can take cognizance of an offense only if the UIDAI registers a complaint.

However, The Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 allows the individuals to register complaints in certain cases such as impersonation or disclosure of their identity.

3.  Alternative means of identification in case of Infirmity, old age etc

Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 makes a provision for an alternative means of identification, where a person fails to authenticate himself through Aadhar due to illness, injury or infirmity due to old age or any other reason.

4. Beneficial for Children

Earlier as per the rule and regulations of the Aadhar Act, a young adult did not have any right to cancel his/her aadhar number.

  • However under the Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018, there is a specific provision that a child Aadhar card holder, on attaining 18 years of age is entitled to make an application for cancellation of his aadhar
  • It is specifically stated in the Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that a child shall not be denied any subsidy, benefit or service in case of failure of his Aadhar authentication.

5. Disclosure of Information

Under the Aadhar Act, 2016, restriction on security and confidentiality of Aadhar related information does not apply on the case the disclosure is ordered pursuant to an order of District Court. However, the Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 allows such disclosure if the same is ordered or asked by High Courts.

  • Earlier as per the Aadhar Act, 2016, a Joint Secretary or officer above than such rank was entitled to pass an order for disclosure of Aadhar related information.
  • Whereas under the provision of Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018, a Secretary or an officer ranking above than Secretary can order for disclosure of Aadhar related information.

6. UIDAI Fund

As per the Aadhar Act, 2016, all the fees and revenues collected by the UIDAI will go to the Consolidated Fund of India. Moreover, Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 says that fees, grants, and charges received by UIDAI will be credited to the UIDAI Fund only. This fund can be used for all the expenses of UIDAI including staff salaries.

Penalty for Non-compliance of the Provision of the Aadhar Act

As per the Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018, if an entity fails to comply with the provision of the Aadhar Act, 2016, then he/she shall be liable to pay penalty. The penalty is as follows:

  • The penalty amount may extend to Rs. 1crore.
  • Where the contravention continues, then, in that case, an additional penalty of Rs.10 lakh every year will be imposed on that entity.
  • The Aadhar Amendment Bil, 2018 clearly states that involuntary collection, usage, and storage of Aadhar number or biometric information of any individual are other violations can attract imposition of penalty.

Conclusion

Aadhar (Amendment) Bill, 2018 is known as an inclusive tool that effectively delivers social welfare programmes to the poor. As per provisions of Aadhar Amendment bill, no one can be denied to get any service for not having the Aadhar number. Individuals do not require to submit any biometric or demographic information to data servers of the Unique Identity Authority of India.

Contact Enterslice in case you require any further information about this bill.

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Narendra Kumar

Experienced Finance and Legal Professional with 12+ Years of Experience in Legal, Finance, Fintech, Blockchain, and Revenue Management.

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