The UIDAI has blacklisted or suspended around 1,000 operators while FIRs have been filed against 20 individuals in the last three months for malpractices such as charging for Aadhaar enrolment. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has also slapped a penalty of Rs 10,000 each on these erring operators besides removing them from its system. “We have received certain complaints…we have a zero tolerance policy on overcharging. We have identified about 1,000 such operators since December 2016…in the last three months, these operators have been removed from our system and we are also imposing a penalty of Rs 10,000 each on them,” UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI.
Removal of these operators from the system implies they would not be able to conduct enrolment for Aadhaar from anywhere in the country. UIDAI is the nodal body responsible for rolling out Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification number that identifies residents based on biometrics. The authority swung into action after it received certain complaints about some of these operators charging money for enrolments — a service that is free of charge.
Some other instances relate to overcharging for updation of Aadhaar details, for which UIDAI has prescribed a rate of Rs 25, while some pertained to operators departing from the set procedures. “We got certain complaints where people were being inconvenienced and sometimes they were being asked for money…So we have appealed that they (operators) should stick to the prescribed rates,” he said. In more severe cases, FIRs have been filed.
“We have filed FIRs against 20 persons,” Pandey said, hoping that the action by the UIDAI would be a deterrent for others trying to overcharge or not following proper processes. The suspension period varies from 6 months to 10 years depending on the severity of the offence, he added. So far, he pointed out, action has been taken against 34,000 operators since the beginning of the Aadhaar program.
The Aadhaar ecosystem has four lakh certified operators and at any point of time about 40,000 such people enrol residents across the country. As per the latest update, more than 113 crore Aadhaar IDs have been generated in the country and Aadhaar authentications have crossed the 500 crore mark, while 100 crore e-KYCs have been done on the platform.