Aadhaar now not mandatory to open bank accounts, get new mobile connections

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed by Rajya Sabha by a voice vote.


Parliament on Monday passed an amendment bill which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity for users to open bank accounts and get a mobile phone connection.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed by Rajya Sabha by a voice vote.

The Bill, which also provides for a stiff Rs 1 crore penalty and a jail term for private entities violating provisions on Aadhaar data, was already passed by Lok Sabha on July 4.

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

Aadhaar now not mandatory to open bank accounts, get new mobile connections

Representational image.

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.

Additionally, the Bill also seeks to give a child an option to exit from the biometric ID program on attaining 18 years of age.

The move is aimed at making Aadhaar people-friendly. It also paves the way for use of alternative virtual identity number to conceal actual Aadhaar number of an individual.

The bill also proposes deletion of section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to use of the biometric identifier by private entities. It will also prevent denial of services for refusing to or being unable to, undergo authentication. Besides this, the proposed amendments provide for the establishment of the Unique Identification Authority of India Fund and confer enhanced regulator-like power on the UIDAI.

With inputs from PTI.

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