Infosys co-founder and former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani has said that the NDA government’s Aadhaar Bill is probably the most stringent law on privacy till date in India.
Speaking to Indian Express, Nilekani said that NDA government’s Aadhaar Bill has enough safeguards.
“In fact, this (the Bill on privacy) is stronger than the original Bill. The Bill has very robust privacy protection beyond what any other legislation has ever provided in India. It is as good as it gets,” he told the daily. He also called it a “big leap forward in the quality of legislation India has seen”.
Rejecting the Rajya Sabha’s five amendments and the opposition’s appeal not to make ‘haste’, the Lok Sabha had on Wednesday passed the legislation that aims at better targeting of subsidies through the Aadhar unique identity number, within hours of the Upper Housing returning it.
The bank accounts of 24.89 crore out of nearly 25 crore families have already been linked with Aadhaar to pass on the benefits in these accounts, ensuring “zero” leakage.
The Aadhaar card can be uses for PDS, Mid Day Meals, Integrated Child Development Scheme, MGNREGA, Indira Awaaz Yojana, Prime Minister’s Employment Guarantee Program, Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyaan, Janani SurakshaYojana, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Janashri Bima Yojana, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, property transactions, Voter ID, PAN card etc.
Just moments before it was adjourned for more than a month-long recess for scrutiny of budget, the Lok Sabha adopted the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other subsidies, benefits and services) Bill, 2016, by a voice vote after rejecting the recommendations for five amendments made by the Upper House.
Congress doesn’t rule out legal action
Congress did not rule out approaching courts against a move to turn the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill to bypass the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority. “We reserve the right to take recourse to all available alternatives including a court challenge,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters asserting that “by no stretch of imagination, the Aadhaar bill is a money bill”.