Union Cabinet Approves Aadhaar Amendment Bill

Last Updated at: Jun 24, 2020
Union Cabinet Approves Aadhaar Amendment Bill

The Union Cabinet allows voluntary submission of Aadhaar details as an identity proof to private entities for obtaining telecom connection and opening bank accounts as acceptable KYC document under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 and the Telegraph Act, 1885.

The Union Cabinet lets voluntary submission of Aadhaar information to use it as an identity proof to obtain telecom connections, open bank accounts and more. The Aadhaar and Other Laws Bill, 2019 replaced the Aadhaar Act, 2016. As per the amendment, a child can exit from the same after 18 years of age.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the parliament session, began on June 17. The amendments introduced are the same as those contained in the ordinance promulgated by the President on March 2019. This bill amends the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and replaces the ordinance.

The new amendment bill also gives a child an option to exit from Aadhaar on attaining 18 years of age.

The bill proposes the deletion of section 57 of Aadhaar Act, 2016, which allows the use of the 12 –digit Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose, whether by the state or any corporate or person and proposes stiff civil penalties on violation of Aadhaar norms and privacy. The provision, therefore, precludes denial of service for the failure of authentication.

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“The decision would enable UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhaar,” the government said, adding that after this amendment, no person will be obliged to provide proof of possession of the Aadhaar number or to undergo authentication in order to create his identity unless such provision is made by the law of the Parliament.

The proposed amendment requires entities to be compliant with the standard of privacy and security specified by the UIDAI under any law made by parliament to perform authentication procedure.

Besides this, the proposed amendment confers enhanced power on the UIDAI to give directions to any entity as and when necessary.

The move is aimed at making Aadhaar “people-friendly”, the PTI release said.

Use of Aadhaar for state welfare schemes 

The state government will now be able to use the unique identification number for their respective state welfare programs as part of the Aadhaar and other laws (amendment) legislation Act of 2019. The move would allow states to follow the DBT model of the central government with the Aadhaar number. 

The words “or the Consolidated State Fund” is inserted into the long title of the Aadhaar (Targeted Financial Distribution and Other Incentives, Benefits and Services) Law, 2016, after the words “the Consolidated Fund of India.”


  • As per the amended act, a sentence of up to ten thousand rupees can be imposed for unlawful use of an individual’s information about his or her identity by requesting an entity or offline verification. The law also subjects for 3 years of imprisonment or more.
  • When the Aadhaar number holder makes the complaint, the court must take note of the offence. Previously, the key Aadhaar Act required courts, only on a complaint made by UIDAI or any of its officials, or person allowed by it, to recognize any offences punishable by them.
  • A fine of up to Rs.10 lakh per day in the event of persistent non-compliance added with the civil penalty up to Rs.1 crore will be imposed on entities which violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act.
  • According to the Amendment Act, an individual in the Aadhaar ecosystems may be brought to UIDAI ‘s attention for failure to a) comply with the Act, the directions of UIDAI and (b) provide UIDAI with the information required. The Adjudicating Officers appointed by the UIDAI determined such matters. They can also impose penalties on these entities for up to Rs.1 crore. 

Cancellation of Aadhaar

The amended Act offers an opportunity to request that its holder cancel the Aadhaar number within six months of the age of 18. A young adult earlier didn’t have the opting-out option. Nonetheless, the rest of the Aadhaar cardholders have no provisions to allow them to choose to opt-out of the program. They also can’t collect all data from banks and other authorities up to this stage.


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