In its verdict, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar on Wednesday but struck down a few provisions. One of the provisions that was struck down was Section 57 of Aadhaar Act that enabled private entities as well as "body corporate or person" along with the State to insist on the document for identification. Simply put, private companies including telcos and banks cannot demand for Aadhaar anymore.
Earlier, deadline for Aadhaar linking to mobile numbers had been extended to December 31 from March 31 in anticipation of the judgment.
However, that did not deter some private companies from demanding the Aadhaar from customers. For instance, while Paytm allowed an option of submitting other identification documents like PAN card, the verifying agents would insist on an Aadhaar. An oft repeated response by the company when responding to a complaint on the matter would be that their agents are not equipped to do KYC without Aadhaar on certain locations.
Banks such as ICICI would flag the Aadhaar linking message on their ATMs, while entities such as HDFC would flag a similar one on their netbanking page. Mobile companies too, like Vodafone would call up customers asking them to link their Aadhaar.
As mentioned in the UIDAI website, Reliance Jio has performed the most Aadhaar fingerprint authentication with 62 million this month, followed by Airtel with 44 million, Vodafone and Idea. Paytm, on the other hand, has done a total of 98 million Aadhaar authentications.
Now, with the SC striking down Section 57, netizens have taken to social media to troll these companies.
Dear Vodafone, my Aadhaar number is my Aadhaar number, none of your Aadhaar number. #AadhaarVerdict- Amitava Adhikary (@amitavaadhikary) September 26, 2018
#AadhaarVerdict: Balanced judgement by #SupremeCourt. #Aadhaar essentially brought back to how it was envisioned to be. #paytm, Jio should back off now. No more spam messages from banks, sim connections (hopefully). Govt custodian of data, hence, answerable to public.- Yamini Kalra (@Yyamiiiniii) September 26, 2018
SC has struck down Sec 57 of Aadhaar Act, making Aaadhaar card not mandatory for opening bank accounts. So please stop asking for Aadhaar to complete your KYC and make the services open for all @Paytm#AadhaarVerdict#SupremeCourt- Mallhar (@sixyardbox_) September 26, 2018
Thank you Supreme Court! I wasn't able to transfer money through @Paytm or use @Olacabs money because of the KYC linking shit. #AadhaarVerdict And @amazon you guys ought to stop asking for #Aadhaar details for processing refunds.- Anusha Ravindranath (@anusha_r1) September 26, 2018
However, it is still not clear if and how individuals who have already linked their Aadhaar with their bank accounts and mobile numbers can de-link them.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)