Aadhaar Card: You have to Pay Rs 1 Crore Fine for Violating these Rules, How to Avoid

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Aadhaar Card Update: The Unique Identification Authority of India, or UIDAI, has launched several services so that an Indian citizen faces minimal hassle while accessing something with their Aadhaar card information. This is because the 12-digit verifiable identification number, issued by the UIDAI for Indians, has become significant for performing several governmental and non-governmental work, most of which are important.

Aadhaar card is arguably one of the most important documents to identify a citizen. Unlike its peers like Voter ID card, PAN card and others, an Aadhaar card serves several purposes. However, with so many services, there have been cases when someone has been accused or convicted of misusing Aadhaar.

To tackle with that, the UIDAI has recently got the permit to levy huge fines on fraudsters for Aadhaar violations. In November last year,  the government of India has instructed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to appoint officials who will prosecute those who violate the Aadhaar Act.

Government notified the UIDAI (Adjudication of Penalties) Rules, 2021 on November 2 under which the UIDAI may initiate a complaint against an entity in the Aadhaar ecosystem for failure to comply with the Act or the UIDAI’s directions, and furnish information required by the UIDAI.

Adjudicating Officers appointed by the UIDAI shall decide such matters, and may impose penalties up to Rs 1 crore on such entities. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal shall be the appellate authority against decisions of the Adjudicating Officer.

In this scenario, it must be noted that the legislation enacting the UIDAI (Adjudication of Penalties) Rules, 2021, was passed in 2019. The Aadhaar Act, at that time, did not have provisions for the UIDAI to take enforcement action against errant entities in the Aadhaar ecosystem. “This needs to be addressed with a view to protect privacy and also to ensure the autonomy of the UIDAI,” the law passed in 2019 had argued. A new chapter was inserted in Aadhaar Act to provide for civil penalties.

However, now, the provision has been made. “Penalty for failure to comply with provisions of this Act, rules, regulations and directions [Section 33A] – upto Rs. 1 crore for each contravention,” the UIDAI says in its website.

Apart from this, impersonation by providing false demographic or biometric information is an offence as per Aadhaar laws and will attract imprisonment for three years and a fine of Rs 10,000. “Appropriating the identity of an Aadhaar number holder by changing or attempting to change the demographic and biometric information of an Aadhaar number holder is an offence – imprisonment for 3 years and a fine of Rs. 10,000,” the UIDAI says in its website.

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