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Last Updated : Dec 17, 2018 09:57 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Govt may tweak rules to give banks, telecom operators Aadhaar access: Report

In its verdict earlier this year, the Supreme Court had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, barring private companies from accessing the Aadhaar database for verification purposes

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The Centre is considering amending the Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to allow people to link their Aadhaar to their bank accounts and mobile phones voluntarily, The Economic Times reported.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has moved a proposal in this regard, which is currently under legal scrutiny and is being reviewed by other ministries, sources in the ministry told the paper.

The proposal includes amendments to the Aadhaar Act to recognise the virtual ID used to prevent the actual Aadhaar number from being divulged, the sources said. The government is seeking stronger legal backing for the use of this virtual Aadhaar ID.

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Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

In its verdict earlier this year, the Supreme Court had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, barring private companies from accessing the Aadhaar database for verification purposes.

The apex court's order left some gaps for the government to legislate if it wanted any particular services linked to the Aadhaar. One of these gaps could be filled through an amendment in the Telegraph Act, which would allow inclusion of Aadhaar in the e-KYC options, sources said.

The government can access or take over these services in case of a public emergency, according to the Act.

Similarly, by tweaking the PMLA, individuals can link their bank accounts to Aadhaar for KYC. This would be completely voluntary.

A thorough KYC process is done so that the government is able to track sources of funds in cases of money laundering. Sources told the paper that if bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar, the tracking process would be easier and the amendments to PMLA would provide the necessary legal safety.

Moreover, the government is already working on the Data Protection Bill submitted by the Justice Srikrishna Commission, to address data privacy issues.

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First Published on Dec 17, 2018 09:57 am
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