Rajya Sabha passes Bill on voluntary use of Aadhaar as identity proof

A man giving his thumbprint for Aadhaar card at an enrollment centre
The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity for users to open bank accounts and get mobile phone connection.

The amendment was passed by a voice vote. Last week, the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha amidst opposition from several quarters. 

The newly passed Bill also gives the Unique identification Authority of India, the agency that administers Aadhaar, the power to now give directions as it may consider necessary to any entity in the Aadhaar ecosystem. 

The Bill had also amended the Aadhaar Act to allow the people to register complaints in certain cases, including impersonation or disclosure of their identity, whereas the Aadhaar Act only allowed courts to take cognizance of an offence if UIDAI registered a complaint.

The Bill also provides for a steep Rs 1 crore penalty and a jail term for private entities violating provisions on Aadhaar data. 

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was introduced in Lok Sabha on June 24.

The amendments provide for use of Aadhaar number for KYC authentication on voluntary basis under the Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

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