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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightAadhaar still ruling...

Aadhaar still ruling the roost as ID proof

Aadhaar still ruling the roost as ID proof

Thrissur: The Supreme Court judgement declaring that Aadhaar is not essential for obtaining SIM card and opening bank account, has come to be of no avail in practice. For both of these, the document asked for - and mostly produced - still continues to be Aadhaar.

The judgement had stated that banks should not insist on Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts. At the same time a KYC (Know Your Customer) is required, for this any recognized ID document like a voter Id is enough. But in practice after the Supreme Court verdict, those who approach the banks for opening an account are seen to provide KYC- based on Aadhaar. T he convenience customers see in this method is that by a press of the finger, all info is available.

Another factor at play is the apex court verdict's decision that for many banking transactions other than opening account, Aadhaar becomes a reference document. For example, for transactions above 50 lakh rupees, PAN (Permanent Accoutn Number) card is compulsory, and the court has accepted the provision that PAN should be linked to Aadhaar. As a corollary, for any transaction above 50 lakh, Aadhaar becomes compulsory.

The Supreme Court judgement also lays down that for welfare benefits and subsidy, Aadhaar is mandatory. For filing Income Tax returns also, Aadhaar is required via the PAN card linking requirement.

The case of obtaining SIM card is slightly different. Most service providers, inlcuding the government –owned BSNL continue to provide connection based on Aadhaar. The point raised by them also is the convenience to consumer. If they submit other documents as proof for KYC, it will take longer for operators' staff to enter all data. The consumers generally shun this due to the waiting involved.

Further, as for connections that pre-existed the court verdict, mobile operators' representatives say that so far there has been no communication from Telecommunication ministry regarding delinking mobile numbers from Aadhaar.

In effect, at least in states like Kerala, the SC order has turned out to be a non-starter. It has been observed that this situation was caused by the fact that there was a delay in the disposal of petitions against Aadhaar requirement, at the same time when Aadhaar enrolment was going on with an intensified tempo, and the judgement came when the enrolments were almost over.

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