Cos failing to comply with Aadhaar Act may face fines

Aadhar

To prevent companies misusing the Aadhaar, the government has proposed a penalty up to Rs 1 crore on entities that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act.

As per the government's plan to amend the Aadhaar Act, there is also a provision to give more power to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) so that it can take action against the errant entities for misusing Aadhaar. At present, the UIDAI does not have the power to take action against guilty firms.

The proposed amendments also make provision for 'Virtual ID' and voluntary and offline modes of using Aadhaar. A bill to amend the Aadhaar Act, the Indian Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act is listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Children, holding Aadhaar, will have the option of cancellation of the 12 digit biometric identifier within a period of six months of attaining 18 years of age. The consent of a parent or guardian will be must for enrolling a child, while no child will be denied any subsidy, benefits or services for lack of Aadhaar, as per the proposed changes.

Mooting fines for violation of the Aadhaar Act, the draft provisions say that a new section will be added to provide for civil penalties which may extend to Rs 1 crore for each contravention on failure to comply with provisions of the Act, rules, regulations and directions by any entity in the Aadhaar ecosystem.

It further mooted an additional penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh for each day of continuing non-compliance after the first contravention.

There will be a provision to file appeal before the TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal), and against the orders of TDSAT an appeal can be made in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court in September last year, had upheld the constitutional validity of 'Aadhaar' but limited the scope of the controversial biometric identity project, ruling it is not mandatory for opening bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions.

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Cos failing to comply with Aadhaar Act may face fines

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