Right to Privacy to not affect Aadhaar-PAN linkage: UIDAI CEO

BT Online   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 25, 2017  | 00:00 IST
Right to Privacy to not affect Aadhaar-PAN linkage: UIDAI CEO

Right to Privacy verdict will have no bearing upon the requirement of tax payers to link their PAN with 12-digit biometric Aadhaar by this month-end. This was informed by UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey today. "There also, linking of PAN to Aadhaar is mandated by an amendment in income tax act...the linking will continue under that act and law. There is no change," said Pandey. With the Supreme Court upholding right to privacy as fundamental right, it was guessed that people can refuse to give their details in the Aadhaar in the backdrop of SC order. The Supreme Court "judgement has not said anything about the Aadhaar Act so the Aadhaar Act is a valid Act passed by the Parliament (and) is the law of the land", Pandey said. He further stated,"Aadhaar Act is a valid Act and this judgement has not commented anything on Aadhaar Act."

UIDAI CEO exuded extreme confidence about continuation of Aadhaar's enrollment as Aadhaar Act's provisions protect privacy of people as a fundamental right. "The data will not be shared without the consent of the person. So there are number of privacy protection provisions inbuilt into the Aadhaar Act itself," he said. Except in circumstances such as national security, and such cases too have to be cleared by a committee headed by cabinet secretary, the details of biometric Aadhaar can never be shared with anyone.  "There is a use limitation, sharing limitation, purpose limitation...all these limitations and restrictions are inbuilt into the Aadhaar Act itself," he added.

Aadhaar's currently required for a number of services. Not its just compulsory to link your Aadhaar with 10-digit PAN to file your income tax return but Aadhaar is also needed for a new PAN. Similarly, the government has given citizens till 31 December to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar. Availing benefits of subsidies under National Food Security Act (NFSA) also need Aadhaar.

Recently, Aadhaar was also mandatory for availing of concessional benefits by senior citizens, students, research scholars & Arjuna awardees, and for availing subsidized loan by farmers. Poor women too can avail free cooking gas (LPG) connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana by applying for the unique 12-digit biometric identification number Aadhaar. The Aadhaar also also serves as a proof of identity and address  while applying for your passport online and gets you appoinment easily for the same. 

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