Linking Aadhaar with mobile number must by February 6, says Centre

Nov 04, 2017, 00:53
Linking Aadhaar with mobile number must by February 6, says Centre

While the SC bench chastised banks and mobile phone companies for sending panic-inducing messages to customers -which assert that their phone and bank accounts would be rendered dysfunctional in case Aadhaar is not updated - it asked them to clearly mention the last date for linking UID to such services.

The deadlines for linking Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts and mobile phone connections now are 31 December 2017 and 6 February 2018, respectively.

The petitions challenge the linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar on multiple grounds including violation of the right to privacy, and articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

Justice Sikri jokingly said that even he receives calls and messages asking him to link his accounts with Aadhaar.

The Bench told the A-G, "If the deadline for Aadhaar linkage is extended till December 31, why are banks issuing these instructions".

The messages only warn customers that their banks accounts will become dormant and mobile phones will be blocked if not linked to Aadhaar.

Several petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of government welfare schemes have been filed in the apex court.

Wondering how can linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar be made mandatory under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and complying with it an offence under the money laundering law, Datar said one can understand if such a thing was said by the Reserve Bank of India under its regulations. The apex court has left the decision on a constitutional bench that will decide on this matter later this month. The deadline for linkage of Aadhaar with SIM "cannot be modified by the government unilaterally (as it is fixed by the SC), said the government".

On October 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said that a Constitution bench would be constituted and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in the last week of November.

Whether or not Aadhaar violates citizens' fundamental right to privacy will be decided by a bigger bench that's expected to convene within November.

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