A Briefing Document on the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010: Questions of Constitutionality & Legislative Options Open to Parliament
80 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2011
Date Written: January 26, 2011
The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 was laid before Parliament on the 8th of November, 2010 by the Prime Minister of India. The Bill seeks to create a regulatory structure to implement the ambitious ‘Unique Identity’ (UID) scheme under which the Central Government will issue 12 digits unique identity numbers (“aadhar numbers”) to all residents of India. The basis of the unique identity will be biometric markers such as iris scans and fingerprints. The UID is to then be used as a tool to increase efficiency in the delivery of government subsidies and welfare programs. For its part the Bill seeks to create the National Identification Authority (NIA) and vest in it the powers to regulate the implementation and administration of the UID project. While the Bill is a welcome step in creating a regulatory framework for the use of biometric and other personal information, it is lacking in several respects. This report aims at not only examining the legality and Constitutionality of certain provisions in the Bill but also recommending to Parliament certain changes to cure those provisions of their Constitutional defects.
Keywords: privacy, law, Constitution of India, delegation of powers, NIA, National Identification Authority, UID
JEL Classification: K1, K2, K3, K4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation