Linking Aadhaar with mobile: Not needed till February, plea in SC
A petition challenging the move by the government to link bank accounts and mobile phones with Aadhaar will be heard by the Supreme Court of India.
Although the deadline to link your mobile number with Aadhaar is February, telecom operators continue to harass their customers. Scores of messages are being sent everyday to customers to link Aadhaar with the mobile number failing which the connection would be cancelled.
The petition filed by activist Dr. Kalyani Menon Sen has challenged Rule 2(b) of the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 for mandatory submission of Aadhaar number for individual clients, companies, partnership firms and trusts for opening of bank accounts, maintaining existing bank accounts, making financial transactions of and above ₹50,000 and crediting foreign remittance into 'small accounts'. Existing bank account holders have been directed to furnish Aadhaar numbers by December 31, 2017.
Non-compliance would render the bank accounts concerned "in-operational indefinitely" subject to submission of the Aadhaar Number and the Permanent Account Number (PAN).
"Non-compliance incurs the same liability as Section 5 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (for involvement in money laundering), that is rendering the concerned bank account in-operational. Present and potential bank account holders, who do not wish to part with their biometric information, are therefore treated on par with alleged offenders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," the petition stated.
The petition challenges the Department of Telecom on March 23, 2017 making it mandatory for all mobile phone holders to link their mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar.
The mobile phone circular is violative of Article 300A of the Constitution which protects a person's right to not be deprived of property. "A bank account and mobile phone connection is the personal property of an individual," the petitioner also stated.