The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 received President’s assent on 25th March, 2016 with the objective of facilitating good governance by efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services to individuals residing in India through the assignment of unique identity numbers to such individuals.
- The Act establishes “Central Identities Data Repository” as a centralised database containing all Aadhaar numbers along with the corresponding demographic information and biometric information of such individuals.
- It enables the “resident” – individual who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment – to obtain an Aadhaar number by submitting his demographic and biometric information by undergoing the process of enrolment.
- Establishing the four-membered Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) comprising a Chairperson (Part-time/full-time), two Members (Part-time), and the chief executive officer, the Act vests the entire executive authority under the Act with UIDAI.
- The Act urges the UIDAI to take special measures to issue Aadhaar numbers to women, children, senior citizens, persons with disability, unskilled and unorganised workers, nomadic tribes or to such other persons who do not have any permanent dwelling house.
- It disclaims the validity of Aadhaar number as any conferment of right or proof of citizenship or domicile for the card holder.
- The biometric information collected and stored in electronic form under the Act have been deemed to be “electronic record” and “sensitive personal data or information” with the Information Technology Act, 2000 rendered applicable to it.
- The disclosure of information under the Act has been permitted only pursuant to an order of a court not inferior to that of a District Judge in the interest of national security.
- The Central Government has been vested with the power of superseding the Authority of UIDAI on account of circumstances beyond the control of the Authority or upon persistent default in complying with any direction given by the Central Government under the Act.
– Ministry of Law and Justice