Aadhar card bill providing constitutional status to Aadhaar has been passed in the parliament. Now, Aadhaar has gained a legal status and will not face hindrances in Supreme Court regarding its compulsory use for availing government schemes’ benefits. Aadhaar is a project launched by UPA under which an individual is allotted a unique 12-digit identification number after collecting personal information of the Aadhar card holder like name, address, fingerprints and iris scan, etc. Aadhaar Bill 2016 was passed in the Lok Sabha on Friday 11th March, 2016. After debate on the bill, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that personal information of the Aadhaar number holder will be safe and will not be misused.
Now, Aadhar card will become a mandatory tool for getting government welfare scheme benefits. Even after opposition’s protest against the bill, Aadhar card bill was presented as money bill in Lok Sabha and was subsequently passed with a voice vote. Since it is presented as a money bill, it is not necessary to pass it from Rajya Sabha as well. Opposition raised their voice against the bill as it was presented as money bill. Arun Jaitley said, “After being presented in September 2010, there has been only discussion for seven years on the bill. Bill has been sent to standing committee. Considering all necessary points, government has presented the bill. Main intention behind this bill is to deliver government money to genuine people. This will save crores of money to the exchequer. Personal data will not be shared without the consent of the card holder, biometric data cannot be shared even after the consent. Implementation of Aadhaar in LPG subsidy distribution has saved more than Rs.15000 crore for the government. 97% adults and 67% minor have Aadhar card”.
Finance Minister added, “Aadhar card related information will only be used for government work. Anyone found violating these rules is entitled to be punished with 3 years of prison or a fine of Rs. 10 lakh. Government want that every such individual should have Aadhaar number who has stayed in the country for a minimum of 182 days in an year. Number of people living below poverty line in the country is very high. Government does not want to delay this bill anymore because this will prevent people get deprived from government help who need it most. Everyday 5 to 7 lakh people are being issued Aadhar card number”.
The bill has been named as Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016. It was presented as money bill in Lok Sabha so its Rajya Sabha passing is no longer needed.