The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, which will give the government’s ambitious Aadhaar initiative a legal backing, is likely to be discussed by the Cabinet this week.
The Bill, which was sent back to the Planning Commission with some amendments, “will be taken up by the Cabinet this week and is likely to be pushed in the winter session [of Parliament],” informed sources said.
The UIDAI, which issues 12-digit Aadhaar numbers to residents, now operates through an executive order.
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Aadhaar cards could not be made mandatory for a citizen to avail himself or herself of government benefits and services such as gas connections, scholarships and salaries. It also said the number should not be allotted to any illegal immigrant. The government, whose “game changer” Direct Benefit Transfer project could be impacted adversely by the ruling, has gone into a firefighting mode to resolve the crisis over the Unique Identity (UID).
On Tuesday, the government will approach the Supreme Court for modification of its order.
The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2010, but was rejected in 2011 by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, chaired by Yashwant Sinha.