UIDAI to soon select adjudicating officer for inquiry in contravention cases

According to the source UIDAI hopes to select the adjudicating officer in next month and half.

New Delhi: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) hopes to select, in the next month and half, an adjudicating officer who will hold inquiry in cases entailing contravention of provisions of Aadhaar Act, that will now attract civil penalty, according to a source.

The Parliament, earlier this month, passed an amendment bill which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity for users to open bank accounts and get mobile phone connections.

The Aadhaar and other laws (amendment) Act also provided for a stiff penalty of up to Rs one crore for entities that fail to comply with the provisions of the Act, its rules and directions, with added fine of up to Rs 10 lakh for each day during which the failure continues after the first violation.

For the purpose of such adjudication under Section 33 A and imposing penalty, the amendments provide for appointment of an adjudicating officer for holding inquiry, based on complaint made by Aadhaar issuing body, UIDAI.

According to the source UIDAI hopes to select the adjudicating officer in next month and half.

The source, however, clarified that the new provisions will not be applicable to pending cases of non compliance. These clauses will only apply to new cases, and there is no retrospective effect, the source added.

The amendments, provide for the adjudicating officer to give the entity against whom complaint has been filed, an opportunity of being heard.

"If the adjudicating officer, in such inquiry, is satisfied that the entity in Aadhaar ecosystem has failed to comply with any provisions of this Act or the rules...or has failed to furnish any information, document or return of report required by the authority, the adjudicating officer may, by order, impose such penalty under section 33A as he thinks fit," the amended Act said.

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