Aadhaar: SC ask banks, telecom services to refrain from panicking customers, include last dates in alert SMSs

Supreme Court of India.

New Delhi, November 3: The Supreme Court on Friday asked banks and telecom services to refrain from scaring people in over Aadhaar linkage. The Supreme Court was hearing four pleas against linking Aadhaar with Bank accounts and phone numbers until a constitution bench decides its validity. Reportedly, the plea was submitted by certain social activists.

The Supreme Court after hearing the plea had sought the Centre’s response to the four petitions challenging the need of linking phone numbers, Bank accounts to the Aadhaar. The constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act was also questioned in the plea.

The Court ruled that all the petitions related to Aadhaar would be heard before a new bench in the last week of November. Meanwhile, the date to link Aadhaar with bank account number and phone number has been extended until December 31 in an order by the Central Government.

As a new bench would be hearing the petitions on Aadhaar, the Supreme Court did not issue an interim order over the issue.

However, the bench consisting of Justice A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan observed that banks and mobile service providers shall inform their customers about the deadline – December 31 and February 6 – in Short Message Service (SMS).

The Supreme Court criticised banks and telecom service providers for creating panic among customers after sending messages saying that if they do not link their Aadhaar number with their accounts and phone numbers it would be deactivated.

Referring to certain messages he received on his mobile phone, Justice Sikri said, “I don’t want to say (so) but I also get messages.” They were reportedly messages which threaten the customer of deactivation for not linking their Aadhaar to a bank account and mobile phone number.

A new Bench would be hearing a bunch of pleas questioning the legality of Aadhaar on the circumstances that it violates a citizens’ right to privacy.