SC refuses interim stay on linking of Aadhaar to mobiles, bank accounts

SC refuses interim stay on linking of Aadhaar to mobiles, bank accounts

Banks and mobile service providers must mention the deadlines - December 31 and February 6 - in SMS's sent to customers on linking their accounts to the Aadhaar numbers, the Supreme Court told the government on Friday.

The court did not rule on the pleas themselves, sending them to a constitution bench that is already hearing several petitions regarding the mandatory use of Aadhaar.

On that subject, the Centre in its affidavity submitted that as per the Supreme Court order in Lokniti Foundation v. Union of India, Aadhaar-based E-KYC verification of mobile subscribers was required to be done by February 6, 2018.

The Supreme Court has refused to stay the linkage of the unique ID, Aadhaar, with mobile and bank accounts. Justice AK Sikri replied that even he gets such messages.

The bench made the observation after the counsel for the petitioners contended that the messages without the specific deadlines were creating panic among customers that their mobile number or the bank account will be immediately invalidated.

The apex court was hearing to a bunch of petitions challenging the mandatory Aadhar-linking on the grounds of violation of privacy. Additionally, both the Centre as well as the SC have said that the deadline will not be extended. The petitioners insisted that Centre's decision to frame rules to prosecute people for not linking their account number with Aadhaar was illegal and requested the court to stay the government's notification.

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. For fixed accounts, the deadline for linking would March 31 and no coercive action would be taken until then, the Centre also stated in the affidavit.

They have also objected to the CBSE's alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.

The Central government also asked mobile operators to re-verify existing prepaid and postpaid customers with the help of the 12-digit unique identity number.

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