The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill - 2018

Background Information

  • The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was entered into the Lok Sabha on January 2nd, 2019, and was successfully passed on January 04th, 2019.
  • Government benefits and subsidies delivered to Indian citizens are carried out through a unique identification number (Aadhar number), It is possible only due to the Aadhar Act.
  • The bill amends, the Aadhar Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.

Important Key Features of the Bill:

Offline verification of Aadhaar Card:

  • The Aadhar Act Bill allows the offline verification of the concerned Indian individual/citizen, without any requirement of authentication (there are regulations attached to this verification). The modes of verification are specified and regulated by UIDAI.

Rules of offline verification, are mandatory for verifying agencies

  • Verification is done only after the consent of the individual under investigation.
  • Educate individuals on alternate methods of sharing information other than Aadhar numbers.
  • In any case, it is not allowed to collect, use and store and share Aadhar numbers or biometric information.

Voluntary use of Aadhaar to verify identity:

  • The Aadhar Act Bill mentions it is up to the individual, who voluntarily wishes to use the Aadhar number to establish his identity (either by authentication or verification).
  • The mandatory authentication can only be made mandatory by the law of Parliament.

Entities using Aadhaar:

An entity may be allowed to carry out authentication through an Aadhaar number, only if the UIDAI authority is satisfied with the following

  • The entity is properly compliant with certain standards of privacy and security.
  • Permitted and allowed by law, or
  • Performing authentication for a specific purpose mentioned by the central government in the interest of the State.

Aadhaar number of children:

The Aadhar Act Bill 2018, mentioned that during the enrollment of a child/minor to avail/obtain an Aadhaar number, the agency responsible for enrollment (making enrollment), shall seek the consent/permission of his/her parent or guardian during the process. The enrollment agency must inform the parent or guardian of

  • Usage of information collected.
  • List of Recipients (with whom the information is shared).
  • Awareness of rights to access the information.
  • The minor/child may opt for the cancellation of Aadhar.

Disclosure of information in certain cases:

  • As per the Aadhar Act, the security constraints do not apply to the disclosure of the identification, in reference/order of the District Court (and above).
  • Disclosure of Information for the pursuant of High court (and above) orders.
  • The disclosure of information by the orders of the officer (Secretary level rank and above)

UIDAI Fund (not the Consolidation Funds of India):

  • Earlier the Fees and money collected towards UIDAI were entitled to be credited to the Consolidated Funds of India. The Bill discards this restriction and created separate funds called the “Unique Identification Authority of India Fund”.
  • Under this provision, all revenue collected (in the form of fees, grants, and charges towards UIDAI) will now be credited to the “Unique Identification Authority of India Fund”
  • The respective funds will be used for the justified expenses of UIDAI (also including salaries, expenses, and allowances of the employees.

Complaints and Grievances

  • The respective Bill allows Aadhar number user/individual, to register the complaint in case of impersonation or unauthorized disclosure of the identity.


The Bill specifies, that UIDAI may launch a legal complaint against an entity in the Aadhaar ecosystem for the failure of ...

  • Comply with the Aadhar Act or the UIDAI’s working rules and direction, and
  • Furnish the information required by the UIDAI.
  • The officer at the disposal of UIDAI is responsible to decide legal matters and may impose fines or penalties of one crore to the entity(s) involved in such situations.

Why the amendments are proposed?

  • Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act (2016) allowed private companies/organizations to gain access to biometric Aadhar data.
  • The new Bill upheld the Aadhaar constitutional validity and demolished Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act (2016).
  • As per the new bill, it became possible to trace the authentication, for those who provide Aadhaar numbers as means of identification.