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Submit plan to discontinue Aadhaar-based eKYC within 15 days: UIDAI to telcos

A circular to this effect has already been issued to the telecom service providers (TSPs), including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and others.

SNS | New Delhi |

Days after the Supreme Court announced that Aadhaar linking was not mandatory for mobile phones and bank accounts, the biometric-issuing authority UIDAI on Monday asked telecom companies to submit, within the next 15 days, a plan to stop using the 12-digit unique ID number for customer authentication.

A circular to this effect has already been issued to the telecom service providers (TSPs), including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and others.

The communication says, “…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/exit plan to the authority for closure of use of Aadhaar based authentication systems…”

Read | Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of Aadhaar, but strikes down Section 57

The Supreme Court on September 26 pronounced its verdict on the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar on grounds of it being violative of the fundamental right to privacy, and declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid.

However, in a major turn of events, the Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. As a result, private companies cannot ask for Aadhaar card now.

The court announced that Aadhaar linking was not mandatory for mobile phones and bank accounts.

“Linking of Aadhaar to mobile phones not constitutional. No mobile company can demand Aadhaar card,” the court said.

“Aadhaar is not needed for banking, but a must for PAN,” the bench said.

In another important judgment, the top court said schools could not make Aadhaar compulsory. The court ruled that schools could not make Aadhaar compulsory saying “every child has right to education”.

(With PTI inputs)