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Lok Sabha passes Bill to amend Aadhaar Act

The Lok Sabha on Friday passed a Bill to amend the Aadhaar Act and two related laws which will allow individuals to offer voluntarily biometric ID as a means of identity verification for obtaining services such as opening a bank account and getting a mobile phone connection.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill proposes changes in the Aadhaar Act, Indian Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to comply with a Supreme Court judgment pronounced on September 26 last year, in which it upheld the constitutional validity of unique identification project with certain restrictions and changes.

The compulsory use of Aadhaar-based KYC for mobile connections and bank accounts had been prohibited by the Supreme Court.

Speaking on the bill, Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Aadhaar being a digital identity has removed the role of a middleman in a substantial measure whose basic role was cutting, fitting and setting.”

In an emotive speech in the lower house of Parliament, Prasad displayed his Aadhaar card and said, “It doesn’t tell about my caste, religion and medical condition. It is safe and secured and is for India and Indians.”

“What does my Aadhaar number have? It has my name, my Patna address, and my father’s name. We are so open minded that we are following everything court said. The Supreme Court held Section 57 unconstitutional, we did the same,” Prasad said.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill also gives a minor the option to opt out of the 12-digit identity scheme on attaining the age of 18. It provides for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and bans service providers from storing core biometric information and Aadhaar number of individuals who voluntarily offer it as a means of authentication.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 7:05:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lok-sabha-passes-bill-to-amend-aadhaar-act/article25915176.ece

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