• Kanika Chauhan

Aadhaar not Mandatory for Bank Accounts

On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved the Aadhaar Amendment Bill which will act as an amendment to the Aadhaar Act 2016, and will replace an earlier ordinance issued in March, 2019, also reducing Aadhaar’s misuse, improve its relevance, and promote voluntary use.

The government will introduce the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill in the first session of Parliament that begins June 17.

According to the official release, “For the convenience of general public in opening of bank accounts, the proposed amendments would allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.”

The Bill seeks to giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age, while stipulating stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy.

The official release also said that the decision would enable UIDAI to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhaar. Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament.

The move is aimed at making Aadhaar “people friendly”, it added.

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