The controversy around Aadhaar continues to be intensified. Apart from the cases of data leaks, the biggest debate is being played inside the Supreme Court whether Aadhaar should become compulsory for every citizen in the country.
While the debate is still continuing, the government is strongly pushing individuals to link their 12-digit unique identity number to bank accounts, mobile numbers as well as government schemes like PDS (public distribution system), mid-day meal and others.
In the frenzy of Aadhaar linkage, even private institutions like private banks and mobile service providers seem to leave no-stone-unturned to make it happen.
In a recent case, Senior advocate Shyam Divan, who is fighting a case opposing the mandatory nature of the scheme, contended in the court that banks accounts were being seeded with Aadhaar indirectly.
Suppose you link your Aadhaar with your pension, it gets automatically linked to your bank account,” Divan told a five-judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra.
He cited instances where people who had never consented to seeding of bank accounts with Aadhaar.
In the past, the Supreme Court had ruled that citizens do not have to link their the unique identity numbers to bank accounts, mobile phones and passport until the judgment was pronounced on the constitutionality of the unique identification programme.
The top court, however, said that a biometric ID is mandatory only for accessing social welfare schemes and subsidies.
Thus, after the Supreme Court rap on the issue of linking people mobile number with Aadhaar, the Government has asked telecom companies to start accepting alternative documents such as driving licence, passport and voter ID card to issue mobile SIM card.
Divan also appealed to the honourable court to make unique identity optional and not compulsory.
The development was first reported by ET.