On 3rd November, Supreme Court was to hear a plea which challenges the constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act and it will also ponder over the question of privacy it raises surrounding the 12 digit unique identification number.
On the hearing SC refused to pass an interim stay on linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts and ask the telecom service providers to let this issue to be decided on by the constitutional bench only.
After Government mandated linking Aadhaar with mobile and bank accounts, telephone service providers started sending SMS alerts to the customers stating that in case of incomplete linkage, the customers will be exempted from the service. Also bank accounts will be making inoperational.
To that Supreme Court chastised the service providers for sending these messages to the citizens and creating panic amongst people.
The Centre denies that such messages were being sent.
To which Justice A.K Sikri says that “I don’t want to say in the presence of media people, but I also get (these) messages” (messages that threatens deactivation in case of not adhering to the linkage with Aadhaar to one’s bank account and mobile phone number).
At the hearing today, the apex court asked these service providers not to send these notification to the customers and scare people in this manner, until a constitution bench decides its validity.
And this five judge bench is expected to urgently address a bunch of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar on the ground that it violated citizen’s right to privacy.
On today’s hearing, SC has also asked the Centre to direct companies to incorporate the deadlines of the linkages in the notifications that they are sending to the customers in the form of SMS or email.
To which the Centre adds that
it was the SC that had approved the norm for mandatory Aadhaar – mobile phone linkage – with a window of one year – in the Lokniti foundation case on February 6.
How to link Aadhaar with Bank Account?
How to link Aadhaar with Sim Cards?