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Cabinet clears law amendment to make Aadhaar voluntary for banking, mobile connections

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The government has approved legislative changes to multiple laws that will make Aadhaar a voluntary “know your customer” (KYC) document while applying for services like mobile connections and bank accounts.

Cabinet clears law amendment to make Aadhaar voluntary for banking, mobile connections

The government has approved legislative changes to multiple laws that will make Aadhaar a voluntary “know your customer” (KYC) document while applying for services like mobile connections and bank accounts. 

The Telegraph Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Aadhaar Act will be amended to make disclosure of Aadhaar for subscription of services like cell phone and banking voluntary, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNBC-TV18 on Monday.

However, the government sources did not clarify if Aadhaar as a KYC document will be voluntary for new subscription of cell phone and banking services or if existing subscriptions will also be covered. 

Another amendment will enable children, who were enrolled for Aadhaar by their parents, to opt out of the 12-digit biometric unique identification mechanism after the age of 18.

The government will also enable offline verification of Aadhaar through QR codes, which will allow Aadhaar card holders to not disclose their unique identity number to service providers. 

The cabinet has also approved 10-year jail terms for those found guilty of data breach.

The government is likely to table these amendments in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.

The move comes after a Supreme Court bench, which upheld the use of Aadhaar for services like ITR or PAN, maintained that the Unique Identity Number was not mandatory as a KYC document for for availing banking or cell phone services. ​

 

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