TMC mocks Centre over passage of Aadhaar Amendment Act in 'empty' Parliament
The Trinamool Congress criticised the way the government ensured the passage of a bill to amend the Aadhaar Act in Lok Sabha on Friday, saying it was a "mockery" of Parliament. Party MP Derek O'Brien alleged the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill was taken up in Lok Sabha Friday evening against convention. "Convention says House never takes up Bills on Friday afternoon as it is Private Members Bill Day," he said in a tweet. He also claimed that Lok Sabha was "almost empty" when the bill was passed.
"Friday evening at 5 pm. Lok Sabha takes up #Aadhaar Amendment Bill for discussion and passing. Convention says House never takes up Bills on Friday afternoon as it is Private Members Bill Day. LS almost empty. This Govt making a mockery of all institutions including #Parliament," the TMC MP tweeted. The bill seeks to amend the Aadhaar Act, Indian Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The amended law will allow individuals to offer voluntarily biometric ID as a means of identity verification for obtaining services such as opening bank account and procuring mobile phone connection.
Speaking on the bill, Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Aadhaar being a digital identity has removed the role of a middleman in a substantial measure whose basic role was cutting, fitting and setting." In an emotive speech in the lower house of Parliament, Prasad displayed his Aadhaar card and said, "It doesn't tell about my caste, religion and medical condition. It is safe and secured and is for India and Indians."
"What does my Aadhaar number have? It has my name, my Patna address, and my father's name. We are so open-minded that we are following everything court said. The Supreme Court held Section 57 unconstitutional, we did the same," Prasad said. The bill also gives a minor the option to opt out of the 12-digit identity scheme on attaining the age of 18 years. It also provides for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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