President promulgates Ordinance amending Aadhaar Act 2016, Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2005 and Indian Telegraph Act 1885
The Ministry of Law and Justice, has in notified the Aadhar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 which amends the Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services Act, 2016, Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Prevention of Money-Laundering Act of 2002.
The Supreme Court in its judgement dated 26th September, 2018 in W.P (Civil) No.494 of 2012 and other tagged petitions held Aadhaar to be constitutionally valid. However, it struck down few sections of the Aadhaar Act and Regulations and gave several other directions in the interest of protecting the fundamental rights to privacy. Eventually, it was proposed to amend the Aadhaar Act, Indian Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in line with the Supreme Court directives and the report of Justice B.N. Srikrishna committee on data protection, in order to ensure that personal data of Aadhaar holder remains protected against any misuse and Aadhaar scheme remains in conformity with the Constitution..
- The Ordinance allows 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 Ordinance provides for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar number holder;
- The Ordinance provides for use of twelve-digit Aadhaar number and its alternative virtual identity to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual;
- The Ordinance permits the entities to perform authentication only when they are compliant with the standards of privacy and security specified by the Authority; and the authentication is permitted under any law made by Parliament or is prescribed to be in the interest of State by the Central Government;
- Allows 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.
- In case an entity fails to comply, that entity will be liable to a civil penalty extending to Rs. 1 Crore. In case of continuing failure, an additional penalty extending to Rs. 10 Lakh will be fined for each day until the failure continues.
Source: Ministry of Law and Justice