The UIDAI has cautioned Aadhaar owners against merchants charging Rs 200 for printing the ID on a plastic card and said that its print out on a paper for official use is perfectly valid.
The authority, which manages Aadhaar, has also warned e-commerce companies such as E-bay, Flipkart and Amazon to discourage merchants involved in such activities using their platform as aiding such persons in any manner may amount to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment.
"The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on an ordinary paper is perfectly valid for all uses.
If a person has a paper Aadhaar card, there is absolutely no need to get his/her Aadhaar card laminated or obtain a plastic Aadhaar card or so called SMART Aadhaar card by paying money," UIDAI Director General and Mission Director Ajay Bhushan Pandey said in a statement.
The UIDAI said it has noticed some unscrupulous entities who are charging Rs 50 to Rs 200 for printing Aadhaar on a plastic card in the name of smart card, as the Aadhaar letter or its cutaway portion or downloaded version of Aadhaar on ordinary paper is perfectly valid. "There is no concept such as smart Aadhaar card," Pandey said.
In case a person loses his Aadhaar card, it can be downloaded free of cost from e-aadhaar section of UIDAI website and the print out of the downloaded Aadhaar, even in black and white form, is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter sent by UIDAI, the statement said.
"In case a person still wants to get his Aadhaar card laminated or printed on plastic card, he may do so only at authorised Common Service Centres or Aadhaar Permanent Enrollment Centres by paying no more than the prescribed rate, which is not more than Rs 30," it said.
"E-commerce companies such as E-bay, Flipkart, Amazon etc., are hereby informed not to allow their merchants to collect Aadhaar information from general public for printing Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorised printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner may amount to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under Indian Penal Code," it added.