Aadhaar Amendment Bill and Triple Talaq Bill : Approved by the Union Cabinet

Union Cabinet has approved the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which is an amendment to the Aadhaar Act 2016. This bill is based upon the ordinance issued in March, 2019 by President Ramnath Kovind.  The amendments are in line with a Supreme Court judgement of the Aadhaar Case ( K.S Puttaswamy & Ors v. UOI ). The court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act as “unconstitutional" which made the use of Aadhaar as mandatory. This means that no company or private entity can seek for Aadhaar identification.

After the proposed amendment bill, it will be discretionary on the part of the general public to use Aadhar Card for opening bank accounts and obtaining mobile phone connections. The use of Aadhar number for authentication as KYC will be on a voluntary basis. This is a move to make Aadhaar ‘public friendly’. The bill also proposes penalties for the violation of provisions which are civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on the violation and a supplementary fine up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of continuous non compliance.

Bill on Triple Talaq has also been approved by the cabinet. The triple talaq prohibition bill was passed by the 16th Lok Sabha but was pending in the Rajya Sabha. However, bills passed by the Lok Sabha but pending in the Rajya Sabha lapse. Therefore, Union Cabinet has approved a fresh bill banning the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq - e- biddat). The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 replaces an ordinance Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019 (Ord.4 of 2019) issued in February after the previous bill lapsed. Divorcing a wife just by uttering ‘talaq’ three times will be made illegal by this bill. This bill further provides with a jail term of three years to the violator.

Both the bills will be introduced in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha starting from 17th June.

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