Parl panel asks govt to redraft UID Authority Bill



Parl panel asks govt to redraft UID Authority Bill New Delhi: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on Thursday asked the government to redraft the Unique Identification Authority Bill, stating it was not acceptable in its present form.

At a meeting of the Standing Committee chaired by Yashwant Sinha, the members felt that the UID Authority Bill was not acceptable in its present form. Rashid Alvi of the Congress, however, was the lone dissenting voice and cast his vote for the present draft while the other members voted against it.

While adopting the report, the committee recommended to the government to redraft the bill.

Sources said the decision to suggest redrafting of the bill was taken as representatives of the home and the finance ministries and the Planning Commission had raised objections to some of its provisions.

The meeting also saw high drama when Alvi charged that Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha SS Ahluwalia and a member of the Standing Committee had leaked the draft report on UID to the media and this was being telecast by the news channels.

Alvi also refused to tell the committee why he was opposed to the draft and said he would only give his dissent and the reasons in writing.

Ahluwalia refuted Alvi's allegation and asked the latter to substantiate it with proof. Alvi said he had received a call from a journalist on his mobile thanking Ahluwalia for providing the report.

Asked about the allegations, Ahluwalia said that he had asked Alvi how a call meant for him was made on the latter's mobile.

"I asked Alvi whether he had a clone number of my phone. I also asked him of the name and number of the person but he refused. How could the person not have recognised that it was not my voice? And of all people, the number this person dialled was of Alvi?" Ahluwalia said.

Ahluwalia maintained that when Alvi and he came out of the meeting, the Congress spokesperson gave his version to the journalists and even made a phone call to the same number.

The BJP leader said at this point he again asked Alvi for the number and name of the person.

"I asked him for his mobile so that I could see the name and number and then tried to take his mobile. In the process, his mobile fell," Ahluwalia said.

On his part, Alvi maintained that Ahluwalia had resorted to "uncultured" behaviour and pushed him from the back.

Alvi, who is a Congress member of Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh, said he told the meeting that he had received a call on his mobile from a journalist who mistook him for Ahluwalia and sought his comments on the draft report. He said it was not proper for anyone to leak the draft reports.

The Congress member told reporters that he will bring the incident to the notice of BJP Parliamentary Party leader LK Advani but added he has "pardoned" Ahluwalia.

"It will be in his interest as also that of Parliament if he desists from such actions", Alvi said adding he would also be bringing the incident to the attention of the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

PTI