Reliance Jio, Vodafone-Idea, Airtel, BSNL users: Enjoy this big relief now
Are you a Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, BSNL or any other SIM card user? Or, want to become one? Here's a good news for you.
Are you a Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, BSNL or any other SIM card user? Or, want to become one? Here's some good news for you. Thanks to the Supreme Court, the telecom companies - public or private - cannot force you to submit 12-digit unique Aadhaar number. For the last many months, getting a new SIM card had become extremely difficult for consumers as the telcos had made Aadhaar mandatory even as the decision on the constitutional validity of the Unique ID was pending in the Supreme Court.
However, relief has finally been provided by the Supreme Court. While Aadhaar remains Constitutionally valid, it is no more mandatory for getting mobile numbers. Telecom companies cannot ask for Aadhaar anymore. The majority verdict by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri and A M Khanwilkar declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones, and school admissions.
Justice Ashok Bhushan also agreed with the view that there was no need to link Aadhaar with mobile numbers. Justice Chandrachud observed, "Aadhaar allows constructing profiles of individuals which is against right to privacy, enables potential surveillance."
The verdict says that seeking Aadhaar is not a violation of the right to privacy.
The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said Aadhaar would remain mandatory for the filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN). But it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.
Justice Sikri struck down Section 57 of Aadhaar Act permitting private entities to avail Aadhaar data and ruled that Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than six months.