There was no Supreme Court order mandating the linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers, admits govt

The advocate representing UIDAI said that the mandatory Aadhaar-mobile number linking move was based on the Supreme Court's order to verify a mobile number.

Remember all that hassle over linking your Aadhaar to your mobile number? In a surprising new revelation, the Centre has admitted that there was no Supreme Court order for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to your mobile number.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

As per a report by PTI, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra hearing a clutch of petitions challenging Aadhaar had only stated that, "mobile users needed to be verified in the interest of national security". This was in response to a PIL filed by 'Lokniti Foundation'.

"In fact, there was no such direction from the Supreme Court, but you took it and used it as a tool (rpt tool) to make Aadhaar mandatory for mobile users," the Bench said.

The advocate representing UIDAI, Rakesh Dwivedi, said that the mandatory Aadhaar-mobile number linking move was based on the Supreme Court's order to verify mobile numbers.

"My submission is that the government had a legal basis to link Aadhaar with SIM by virtue of section 4 of the Telegraph Act and also, the measure is reasonable in the interest of national security," said Dwivedi.

He also claimed that the UIDAI was being unfairly targeted as Banks and telecom companies have a much "bigger database" about the citizens. He stated that people were 'afraid' of Aadhaar data being leaked, but no one ever questions the telecom companies and banks.

"Vodafone can do targeted advertising using the data, which is already happening without Aadhaar. Vodafone has far more demographic data about an individual than UIDAI has," Dwivedi said, adding that at most, such details can lead to the formation of a directory and that targeted advertisements are happening already.

With inputs from PTI

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