Aadhaar Not Mandatory for New Mobile Connections, Says Government
Telecom operators can issue new SIM cards without Aadhaar on the basis of alternate identity document like election voter ID or driving licence and the government will await Supreme Court’s order on re-verification of mobile subscribers using Aadhaar at a later date, a top DoT official said on Wednesday.
“As per rule, fresh connections can be given using any authentic ID and address proof. There is no change in that rule. Telecom operators cannot deny fresh SIM to people having valid ID and address proof document. For re-verification, we have to wait for Supreme Court order as the matter is sub-judice,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.
Another official on condition of anonymity claimed the SIM-Aadhaar linking policy still stands as on date and so new SIMs issued without Aadhaar would need to be re-verified through Aadhaar-based e-KYC at a later point.
The source also said that subscribers who give Aadhaar details right at the time of new SIM issuance, would not need to undergo Aadhaar-based re-verification again. The Department of Telecom (DoT) had earlier extended the deadline for re-verifying mobile numbers through Aadhaar, till the time the apex court takes a view on the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling law.
Sources also referred to the DoT’s circular issued on March 23, 2017. “The subscriber acquired through proof of identity/ proof of address documents based process, during the period of this re-verification activity shall also be re-verified through e-KYC process.
“For this, the licencee at the time of issuing connection to such subscribers, shall intimate the subscribers about this re-verification activity,” the circular had said.