Aadhaar to be voluntary for sim cards, banking

These two Acts will be amended to provide for voluntary sharing of the 12-digit identification number for obtaining new mobile phone connections and opening new bank accounts. (AFP file photo)

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved amendments to the Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as the Supreme Court in September imposed restrictions on the use of Aadhaar by private companies.

These two Acts will be amended to provide for voluntary sharing of the 12-digit identification number for obtaining new mobile phone connections and opening new bank accounts.

The Supreme Court had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that made seeding of the biometric ID with SIMs and bank accounts mandatory, saying it had no legal backing.

To overcome this hurdle, the Telegraph Act is being amended to provide legal backing for the issuance of mobile SIMs through Aadhaar.

Similarly, the amendment to the PMLA will give individuals option to link their bank accounts to Aadhaar in the KYC option.

The apex court in its judgement had upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar for the distribution of state-sponsored welfare subsidies but ruled that it cannot be made mandatory for opening bank accounts or providing mobile-phone connections.

 

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Aadhaar to be voluntary for sim cards, banking

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