SBI, HDFC, BoB, Axis, ICICI, PNB, Canara, other banks' customers may do this again?
Even as the Supreme Court has ruled that bank customers do not need to link their accounts with Aadhaar, the Union government-led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the power to make it mandatory again.
Even as the Supreme Court has ruled that bank customers do not need to link their accounts with Aadhaar, the Union government-led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the power to make it mandatory again by bringing a law to nullify the apex court order. Not just the bank accounts, the government can make linking Aadhaar with mobile number mandatory gain. However, apart from some statements hinting the government can make aadhaar linking mandatory again, the Centre has not clarified whether or when it plans to introduce such legislation in the Parliament.
Under the ambit of law, the government is empowered to get a legislation, negating an SC order, passed in the Parliament.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said a Parliament-approved legislation can restore mandatory linking of biometric ID Aadhaar with mobile phones and bank accounts. He, however, didn't say that whether the Central will bring a new law for the same.
Last month, the apex court had upheld the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric-based unique identity number. However, the top court had restricted its use by private entities like telecom operators for verifying the identity of the mobile phone user.
PTI quoted Jaitley as saying that the verdict was a “very sound judgment” as the court accepted that there is legitimate state aim in Aadhaar. “Aadhaar is not a citizenship card,” Jaitley said at an event in Delhi. “Because after all you have a system where you give a lot of government money in form of various support and subsidies to all kinds of people. That was the principle objective of Aadhaar.”
Jaitley said that the Supreme Court had upheld most of what Aadhaar does.
He further said that a legal provision through a legislation can restore linking of Aadhaar with mobile phones and bank accounts. “By law it can still be done, provided you do it under the adequate provision of law and do it on the basis of that in this field it is necessary,” Jaitley said.
The Finance Minister, however, did not say if the government plans to bring a law in Parliament for the purpose. Jaitley said the Supreme Court has permitted Aadhaar linkage in several areas like income tax, based on “the principle of proportionality”. “If you are able to show the kind of data that in mobile telephony it [Aadhaar linkage] will help, it can happen. So, mobile and bank accounts are two critical areas,” he said.
The Supreme Court had declared constitutional the government’s extraordinary attempt to give every resident a biometric ID. The top court had, however, drawn a clear line between two kinds of use for biometric authentication – its use for state-provided services like payment of subsidies and taxation records was declared acceptable but restricted its use as authentication tool by the private sector like telecom companies and banks.
(With agency inputs)