Aadhaar card not mandatory to get mobile SIMs, says Government

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The CJI, however, insisted that the Lok Niti order was not based on any adjudication on whether SIM cards should be linked to Aadhaar or not. Aadhaar, the 12-digit identification number issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is not a must for getting a mobile SIM card in the country.

The telecom ministry has instructed telecom companies to issue mobile SIMs to customers who don't have Aadhaar, and have been asked to follow these instructions immediately. In the meantime, companies have been directed to accept other documents like passport, Voter ID or driving license for verification of identity.

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"Applicants who do not have their Aadhaar card have to apply for one and fill the LU form using the option of Aadhaar Card enrolment number and later on have to update the actual number when they get it", as per a form-filling guidelines published on the varsity's website.

The Centre may soon make it a licensing condition for telecom operators to issue SIMs to mobile phone users only after Aadhaar verification, attorney-general KK Venugopal told the SC on Thursday. "We have asked them to accept other forms of KYC (know your customer) documents, and continue to issue SIM cards", Sundararajan told TOI. Telecom operators have not confirmed their compliance to this announcement but reports indicate that government has taken it seriously. "For re-verification, we have to wait for Supreme Court order as the matter is sub-judice", Sundararajan had said.

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"This kind of denial by retailers is completely uncalled for when there is no legal basis to enforce it". Until last week, mobile companies had been bombarding customers with calls, messages and other such unsolicited communication, asking them to link their phone number with Aadhaar. "Such practices will not be tolerated", a senior official said. This essentially means that the members don't have to submit their Aadhaar numbers to avail the PF benefits.

However, last week, the Supreme Court also raised the questions over the govt's decision to mandate the Aadhaar card linking with mobile numbers.

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