Aadhar Row: Telecom Companies, banks, agencies may land behind bars with fine up to 1 Cr

New Delhi: Now Telecom companies, banks, agencies demanding Aadhar for availing services instead of any other identity proof like ration card or Passport will be liable to a penalty of up to Rs 1 Crore as per the government.

The Union Cabinet on Monday permitted Aadhar holders to use the Unique ID for completing KYC formalities if they chose to.

Keeping in view of SC’s order which said Aadhar would be compulsory only for welfare services which also involves public funds, the Union Cabinet has made amendments to the Indian Telegraph Act and PMLA.

Apart from penalizing the company for insisting on Aadhar, the cabinet also approved jail for their staffers concerned — ranging from three to 10 years.

“Aadhaar is a platform that promotes good governance. The amendments protect security and privacy. They set out rules for consent in case of minor and opt-out option at age 18. There are strict punishments for any attempt to tamper with core biometrics,” a familiar source said.

The Aadhaar biometrics cannot be accessed by agencies and any attempts of misusing the data will make a person liable to pay a fine of Rs 50 lakh and a jail term extending to 10 years.

Now the government has set certain red lines for companies, agencies pestering customers for Aadhar link, TOI reports.

There is a fine of Rs 10,000 and a three-year prison term for failure to obtain consent before collecting information for authentication and the penalty clauses also apply to offline verification through QR codes.

Unauthorized publication of ID or photograph can mean a fine between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1 lakh according to the new norms.