Government t introduces Aadhaar amendment Bill in Lok Sabha
- The government has introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to amend certain existing laws to provide legal backing for voluntary seeding of biometric Aadhaar ID for mobile SIM card and bank account authentication purposes.
Argument Against the Bill:
- The bill violated the right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution because there is no Data protection law in placed in the country.
Major Provisions of the Bill:
- The bill to amend the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 is crucial.
- 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.
- The Supreme Court had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that had allowed sharing of data with private entities for verification, forcing the telecom and banking sectors to stop using the system that had speeded up the process to a few minutes
- Bill also provides for private entities using Aadhaar as a KYC document will have to ensure safety and privacy of the Aadhaar data
- Under the amendments, an Aadhaar holder can opt for offline verification through a QR code and will not be required to share his or her actual Aadhaar number.
- Mandatory authentication of an Aadhaar holder for the provision of any service will take place if such authentication is required by a law made by Parliament.
- Child who has been enrolled for Aadhaar through his/her parents will have an option to opt out of Aadhaar database after attaining age of 18 years.
- SC in the past ruled that Aadhaar could not be mandatory for services other than direct benefit transfer, social welfare schemes or issuing of PAN by the I-T dept.
- The plan will help telecom companies, banks and financial technology firms, which were worried about massive paperwork after the recent Supreme Court order on Aadhaar
- There will be a provision to file an appeal before the TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal), and against the orders of TDSAT an appeal can be made in the Supreme Court.
- The bill proposes a civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on entities that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, with an additional fine of up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of continuous non-compliance
- Punishment for unauthorized access to the Central Identities Data Repository as well as data tampering is proposed to be extended to 10 years each from the current three years. The bill also seeks to omit Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to the use of Aadhaar by private entities.