Cabinet clears statutory status for UIDAI
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Paving the way for providing statutory status to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar numbers to residents, the government on Tuesday approved the National Identification Authority of India Bill with some amendments.
The Bill will now be placed before the Rajya Sabha in the winter session, said sources.
Besides giving statutory status to the UIDAI, the Bill seeks to provide legal backing to Aadhaar, which is used by ministries, departments and states to disburse subsidies. At present, the UIDAI operates through an executive order.
The new law seeks to create a National Identification Authority of India, which will oversee implementation of the Aadhaar project. It also seeks to define penalties in case of misuse of data collected under the project.
According to sources, the amended Bill also addresses the issue of whether the UIDAI can enroll all residents or Indian nationals only.
"The Aadhaar number can be issued to any resident, including foreign national. It does not confer any rights regarding citizenship or domicile or any other right as per Section 6 of the Bill," said an official.
Meanwhile, the Centre and oil PSUs on Tuesday failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court on its ruling that Aadhaar card is not compulsory for availing social benefits.