Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 promulgated by the President

Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 promulgated by the President

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 was necessitated as the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed by the Lok Sabha (House of People) in January is still pending in the Rajya Sabha (Council of States).

Key Highlights of the Ordinance are as under:

Cancellation of Aadhaar of a child attaining majority

The Ordinance provide that a child (being less than 18 years) on attaining majority canmake an application for the cancellation of his/her Aadhaar. 

Voluntary use of Aadhaar for establishing identity

Every Aadhaar holder may use aadhaar number in physical/electronically by way of authentication/offline verification. However every authenticating agency  shall inform the aadhaar number holder of alternative and viable means of identification.

Authentication in case of old age, injury or illness

The ordinance provides that in case of failure of aadhaar holder to authenticate his identity due to illness, injury, or infirmity due to old age or any other/technical reasons, authentication shall be done by alternative means.

Offline verification of Aadhaar

Guidelines have been prescribed for offline verification seeking entity. Such entity shall inform the aadhaar holder the nature of information that may be shared and the uses to which such information obtained may be put to.

Such entities are not allowed to collect, use or store an Aadhaar number or biometric of an individual.

Penalty for violation of Aadhaar Act/Rules

The ordinance provide for a civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on entities in Aadhaar Eco System that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act/Regulations or directions of UIDAI, with an additional fine of up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of continuous non-compliance.

Penalty for unauthorised use of identity information

A requesting entity/offline verification seeking entity found guilty of unauthorised use of identity information have been made punishable with imprisonment of up to three years with a fine that may extend to Rs 10,000 or in case of a company with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

UIDAI exempted from Income Tax

UIDAI has been exempted from payment of income tax on its income, profits  or gains

Aadhaar not required for Telephone connection/SIM card

In view of the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Indian Telegraph Act has been amended to provide that apart from voluntary use of aadhaar number, the telephone companies shall verify the identity of the individual from passport or any other any other official valid documents.

No person shall be denied telephone/mobile connection any other services by telephone companies for not having Aadhaat number.  

Aadhaar voluntary for opening bank account

Falling in line with judgment of the Apex Court, amendment has been made to Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to inter alia provide that no banking company shall deny any services to an individual for not having Aadhaar  

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