Aadhaar Amendment Alert: Soon, open bank account, buy SIM card, opt out of Aadhaar database - Details here
Aadhaar Amendment: The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to tweak the Aadhaar law, months after the Supreme Court ordered that the 12-digit unique ID cannot be mandatory for availing services like banking or mobile SIM cards.
Aadhaar Amendment: The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to tweak the Aadhaar law, months after the Supreme Court ordered that the 12-digit unique ID cannot be mandatory for availing services like banking or mobile SIM cards. News agency PTI quoted sources as saying that the Cabinet has approved amending the existing laws to provide legal backing for seeding of biometric ID Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts as an optional KYC.
In September this year, the Supreme Court had banned mandatory use of 12-digit unique identifier by private firms, sources said. The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved amendments to the Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
"Private entities using Aadhaar as a KYC document will have to ensure safety and privacy of the Aadhaar data," a source was quoted as saying by the news agency. They said two Acts will be amended to provide for voluntary sharing of the 12-digit identification number for obtaining new mobile phone connections and for the opening of bank accounts."
Changes in the relevant sections of the Telegraph Act and PMLA will be effected through the original Aadhaar Act. A bill in this regard could be moved in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament and would clarify that the changes in the two Acts are being made through the principal Aadhaar law.
QR code verification
After the amendments, an Aadhaar holder will be able to opt for offline verification through QR code. They will not be require to share actual Aadhaar number.
The apex court had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that made seeding of the biometric ID with SIMs and bank accounts mandatory, saying it had no legal backing. To overcome this, the Telegraph Act is being amended to provide legal backing for the issuance of mobile SIMs through Aadhaar.
Similarly, the amendment to the PMLA will give individuals option to link their bank accounts to Aadhaar in the KYC option.
As part of the amendments, the government has proposed an imprisonment of up to 10 years for attempting to hack Aadhaar data. Currently, the punishment for this offence is 3 years.
Get out of Aadhaar data base
Sources told the news agency that a child who has been enrolled for Aadhaar through his/her parents will have an option to opt out of Aadhaar data base after attaining age of 18 years. There will be action against accountable individuals in case they deny any service for want of Aadhaar, as per the proposed amendments.
(With agency inputs)
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