Do you want to de-link your Aadhaar from your mobile number following the Supreme Court's decision to strike down Section 57? Here's some news for you - you may have to go through yet another round of KYC process to get it done.
After the SC's mandate, telecom service providers (TSP) will have to de-link Aadhaar from mobile numbers but customers who had earlier linked it will have to provide fresh identity proofs. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) asked telecom companies to submit a plan to stop the usage of the 12-digit unique ID number in the next 15 days. UIDAI issued a circular on Monday to telecom service providers (TSP), including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and others.
The communication said, "...all TSPs are called upon to immediately take actions in order to comply with the judgement dated 26.09.2018. In this regard, TSPs are hereby directed to submit by 15th October, 2018 an action plan or exit plan to the authority for closure of use of Aadhaar based authentication systems..." UIDAI has also asked mobile operators to notify customers about the de-linking facility.
UIDAI also said: "All TSPs shall take immediate cognisance of the request for delinking Aadhaar with mobile number... and may take appropriate action to perform fresh KYC as per DoT-approved list of proof of identity and address within six months from date of request to avoid de-activation of the mobile number," as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.
UIDAI made it clear that telecom operators cannot ask for the document to issue new SIM cards or to re-verify existing ones.
Other government departments as well as UIDAI will clarify which services will require the Aadhaar. The government believes that the SC's decision will help dispel concerns about data security and breach of privacy by various firms. It is, however, believed that certain services such as access to subsidised LPG cylinders would still require the customer to furnish Aadhaar details. While Aaadhaar won't be required to get a passport, it is likely to remain mandatory for individuals applying for passports under the Tatkal scheme.
The UIDAI's directive comes after the Supreme Court pronounced its Aadhaar verdict last week. While the document's constitutional validity was upheld, the apex court struck down few provisions of the Aadhaar Act, including Section 57. Section 57 enabled not only the State but also any "body corporate or person" or private entity to demand Aadhaar. It is this provision that allowed statutory support to mobile companies, private service providers, banks etc to seek an individual's Aadhaar card for identification.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)