SC to hear pleas against linking Aadhaar with mobile number, bank account: All you need to know

Aadhaar has been facing a slew of legal challenges on the grounds that it breaches privacy. In August, the Supreme Court made privacy a fundamental right.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2017 18:30 IST
Suchetana Ray
Suchetana Ray
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Aadhaar,right to privacy,Supreme Court
File photo of Rajasthani women showing their Aadhaar cards before a vote in Ajmer. (PTI)

With telecom companies and banks hounding users to link their Aadhaar number with mobile numbers and accounts a petition was filed in the Supreme Court last week challenging the government’s move.

The plea filed by feminist researcher and activist Kalyani Menon says the provision — issued by the department of telecommunication in a March 2017 circular — on bank accounts and mobile phones create an “impermissible artificial distinction” between those who have parted with their private, biometric information and those who have not.

Aadhaar has been facing a slew of legal challenges on the grounds that it breaches privacy, leaving officials to wonder if the government can still push ahead with its use in a wide range of services. These concerns have heightened since the Supreme Court’s privacy judgement on August 24.

What does this mean for you?

Come November, the apex court will hear 25 petitions related to Aadhaar, including those for scrapping the Aadhaar Act, stopping biometric profiling and seeding bank and mobile databases with the 12-digit unique identity number.

The Supreme Court’s verdict will decide whether or not you need to mandatorily link your bank accounts and mobile number with Aadhaar.

When do you need to link your Aadhaar with your bank account and mobile number?

The deadline has been set forDecember 31, 2017. But before that the Supreme Court hearings will decide the future of linking Aadhaar with services such as banking and telephony.

Where Aadhaar is mandatory:

It is not only bank accounts and mobile numbers, Aadhaar is also a must for Public Provident Fund, the National Savings Certificates and the Kisan Vikas Patra. There are more than 135 welfare schemes where Aadhaar seeding is mandatory.

Below are a few examples:

— NREGA;

— PDS;

— RTE/Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan;

— Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP) Scheme for women;

— Ujjwala Scheme the free cooking gas (LPG) to poor women;

— Women victims of unfortunate circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity and the Scheme is a Sub-Scheme of Centrally Sponsored Umbrella Scheme called “Protection and Empowerment of Women”;

— Aakshar Bharat;

— Support to NGOs/Institutions/SRCs for Adult Education and Skill Development;

— Community health workers, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) — a critical link between the community and the public health system;

— Central Sector Scholarship Schemes for education of students with disabilities;

— Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities under the Central Sector Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disability Act, 1995;

— Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase and, or, Fitting of Aids and Appliances, assistive devices are given to Divyangjan with an aim to improve their independent functioning and to limit the extent of disability and occurrence of secondary disability;

— National Career services, registering at unemployment exchange etc.

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 18:29 IST