Resisting coercion to link Aadhaar to mobile and bank accounts
Resisting linking your mobile or your bank account to Aadhaar is not just about rejecting Aadhaar, it is about your safety and protecting national interest
 
The orders of the Supreme Court of India
 
On 23 September 2013 the Supreme Court ordered that “no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily”. On 24 March 2014, the apex court had reiterated that “no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/circulars/likes so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith”.
 
In its order of 11 August 2015, the SC ordered that Aadhaar may not be used for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme, for the distribution of foodgrains, and cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG. This was extended to allow its use for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in its orders of 15 October 2016. The court also stated that the information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose.
 
In its orders of 15 October 2015 passed by a five-member bench headed by the then Chief Justice the Supreme Court emphasised that, “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23 September 2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”.
 
On 14 September 2016 in the matter of WP 686 of 2016 the apex court stayed the operation and implementation of  that or Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they have made submission of Aadhaar mandatory.
 
The orders of government authorities mandating Aadhaar
 
In a blatant contempt of the Supreme Court of India and in disrespect for the rule of law, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 20 January 2017, issued a letter to Department of Telecommunications (DOT) to ask for linkage of an Aadhaar number to each mobile number. On 1 June 2017, the Ministry of Finance issued a notification mandating the linkage of all bank accounts with Aadhaar numbers before 31 December 2017, failing which they shall be frozen. This is despite the fact that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had repeatedly indicated that the Aadhaar is not an acceptable KYC under international banking practices as at best it is a third party identification, not acceptable in banking. The RBI had maintained that the use of the Aadhaar number was in conflict with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Basel Standards for maintaining customer information and its own extant guidelines.
 
Furthermore section 29 and section 8 of the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016 prohibit the linkage, retention, storing and publishing of the Aadhaar number. Any requirement to link the Aadhaar number with any other database, service or right is therefore illegal under the Aadhaar Act, the orders of the Supreme Court, national interests and the interests of the citizens of India.
 
At least a dozen petitions, including several contempt petitions remain unheard by the Supreme Court and are expected to be heard once the nine-member bench decides on whether Indian’s have a fundamental right to privacy. Irrespective of the hearing or its outcomes, it is evident that the linkage of Aadhaar is neither legal nor does it serve any national interest. It is also widely established that apart from being exclusionary, it makes individuals vulnerable to identity fraud and the nation to crime and anti-national interests.
 
Most service providers express helplessness as they force customers, as they, in turn, receive orders over “phone-calls” and are made to give explanations for non-linkage of Aadhaar. They need the consumer to join the resistance to this blatant disrespect of the law in order to be able to protect the country and its citizens from the Aadhaar Frankenstein. 
 
What can you do? 
 
Here are draft notices, modified from a previous letter used by thousands across the country, you could use to refuse to link Aadhaar to your mobile or with your bank account. Edit appropriately, use and share widely.
 
Notice to your mobile service provider/bank:
 
Name/Address of concerned mobile service provider/bank that is forcing for linkage of Aadhaar number
 
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
 
As per the Supreme Court order dated 15 October 2015, Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for the purposes of linking to mobile phones/bank accounts. As Supreme Court orders take precedence over Acts of Parliament in the hierarchy of law, I am not compelled to obtain or link an Aadhaar to avail of mobile or banking services. Furthermore, the use of Aadhaar for linking to other databases, retention, storage or publishing is not only prohibited but also a punishable offence under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016
 
I request you kindly accept to continue my mobile/ banking services uninterrupted and acknowledge receipt of this letter.
 
Furthermore, I would like to bring to your attention the following:
 
1. Aadhaar is not a verified or audited database, neither the UIDAI nor any other government authority certify it as a proof of identity, address, resident status or even the existence of any person.
2. The linkage of Aadhaar to mobiles/ bank accounts will result in the innocent losing money, reputation and access to justice, dignity and livelihood as their Aadhaar numbers can act as mules for obtain SIMs, opening bank accounts and facilitate money laundering. Their subsidy and other Aadhaar enabled payments can be easily compromised. Their access to their own bank accounts be denied, or they can be framed for economic offences. Helpless citizens and businesses may also find themselves at the receiving end of covert human rights violations as even their access to money and existence is disabled by deactivation or blocking of Aadhaar leaving no recourse to survival.
3. Linking Aadhaar to mobiles/bank accounts or PAN converts India into the new tax haven for money launderers as it becomes easy to remotely create benami accounts and operate benami transactions while claiming complete legitimacy. This will destroy India’s economy and governance.
4. Financing crime and terrorism will grow uncontrollably as it becomes increasingly difficult to discover, report or close down such operations. This will make it impossible to ensure national security as the rule of law is destroyed.
5. Corruption will increase as it becomes easier when proceeds will not be traceable to the corrupt. It will be increasingly difficult to restore swarajya and impossible to ensure surajya.
6. Banks will not be able to contain non-performing-assets, fraud and financial misappropriation as the real users of banking services will be untraceable. The economy will be completely out of control as the black and white economies become indistinguishable.
 
In light of these facts, and to ensure that you do not get embroiled in needless controversy and criminality that you kindly take up the matter with the highest offices of the Government of India and not proceed further with Aadhaar-mobile/bank linking.
 
We trust your will not cause me, or anyone, suffering for not linking the Adhaar inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory. We urge you to publish widely your decision to abide by the orders of the Supreme Court, the Aadhaar Act, the national interest and the interest of the citizens of India. We trust your commitment to abide by the rule of law will not require us to seek other remedies and relief or cause any failures to respect the rule of law. 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
CC 
 
 
Notice to the UIDAI: 
 
Here is a draft notice of contempt you should also send to the UIDAI along with copies of the relevant orders of the Supreme Court for contempt of the orders of the Supreme Court.
 
Dr AB Pandey
Chief Executive Officer (CEO),
Unique Identification Authority of India -UIDAI
3rd Floor, Tower II, Jeevan Bharati Building,
Connaught Circus,
New Delhi - 110001
 
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
 
On 23rd September 2013 the Supreme Court ordered that “no person should suffer for not getting the Adhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily”. On 24th March 2014 the court had reiterated that “no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/circulars/likes so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith”.
 
In its order of 11th August 2015, the court ordered that Aadhaar may not be used for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme, for the distribution of foodgrains, and cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG. This was extended to allow its use for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in its orders of October 15th, 2016. The court also stated that the information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose.
 
In its orders of 15th October 2015 passed by a 5 member bench headed by the then Chief Justice the court emphasised that, “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”.
 
On 14th September 2016 in the matter of WP 686 of 2016 the court stayed the operation and implementation of  that or Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they have made submission of Aadhaar mandatory.
 
Despite this, in complete contempt of the Supreme Court of India and in blatant disrespect of the rule of law, you have been allowing the access to the UID numbers for uses beyond those permitted by the court or allowed under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016.
 
We require that you:
 
1. Immediately cease providing any authentication and/or KYC or support and use of the Aadhaar number for purposes other than those permitted by the Supreme Court of India.  
2. Cease to provide any Aadhaar authentication or KYC to any organisation mandating or requiring the use of Aadhaar number beyond the permitted purposes.  
3. Issue notifications and wide publicity in the electronic and print media including radio and television networks, as required by the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated August 16, 2016, to make it clear that you will not 
  A. Provide authentication and KYC services beyond those permitted by the Supreme Court or 
 
B. Cause or allow any agencies to cause anyone to require registering for an Aadhaar number or 
 
C. Allow anyone to suffer for want of Aadhaar and that Aadhaar number. 
 
We trust you will share your compliance of the orders within 7 days, publish widely your decision to abide by the orders of the Supreme Court and not cause us further suffering or require us to seek other remedies and relief for any continued contempt of the Supreme Court of India and failure to respect the rule of law. 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
CC: 
 
1. Shri Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, 152, South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110011
 
2. Chief Justice of India, â„… Chief Justice's Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201
 
3. You can tweet it to the CEO of UIDAI and @ceo_uidai and @UIDAI with #Contempt
 
4. You can send emails to UIDAI's Chairman UIDAI at [email protected]CEO UIDAI at [email protected]and OSD to CEO at [email protected]
 
While there is talk about digitisation, it is better if you can send these complaints through registered post. This will help you get an acknowledgement and you can also file an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to know progress of your complaint. 
 
 
Please ask others who face the same scene as you to complain. Do please tweet your complaints with #UIDContempt. 
 
 
Notice to the Governor RBI:
Do use the template below to write to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
 
The Governor,
Reserve Bank of India
Main Building
Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg
Mumbai – 400 001
 
Dear Dr. Urjit Patel,
 
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
 
The Reserve Bank had resisted the use of Aadhaar for KYC citing international banking practices and highlighting that at best it is a third party identification, not acceptable in banking. The RBI had maintained that the use of the Aadhaar number was in conflict with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Basel Standards for maintaining customer information and its own extant guidelines. We bring to your attention that file records of RBI indicate clearly the use of Aadhaar has been coercive through the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
 
On 23rd September 2013 the Supreme Court ordered that “no person should suffer for not getting the Adhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had  issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily”. On 24th March 2014 the court had reiterated that “no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/circulars/likes so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith”.
 
In its order of 11th August 2015, the court ordered that Aadhaar may not be used for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme, for the distribution of foodgrains, and cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG. This was extended to allow its use for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in its orders of October 15th, 2016. The court also stated that the information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose.
 
In its orders of 15th October 2015 passed by a 5 member bench headed by the then Chief Justice the court emphasised that, “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”.
 
On 14th September 2016 in the matter of WP 686 of 2016 the court stayed the operation and implementation of  that or Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they have made submission of Aadhaar mandatory.
 
Furthermore, section 29 and section 8 of the  The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016 prohibit the linkage, retention, storing and publishing of the Aadhaar number.
 
Despite this, in complete contempt of the Supreme Court of India and in blatant disrespect of the rule of law, various banks have been coerced to cause linkage of the Aadhaar to bank accounts.
 
Furthermore, I would like to bring to your attention the following:
 
1. Aadhaar is not a verified or audited database, neither the UIDAI nor any other government authority certify it as a proof of identity, address, resident status or even the existence of any person.
2. The linkage of Aadhaar to mobiles/bank accounts will result in the innocent losing money, reputation and access to justice, dignity and livelihood as their Aadhaar numbers can act as mules for obtain sims, opening bank accounts and facilitate money laundering. Their subsidy and other Aadhaar enabled payments can be easily compromised. Their access to their own bank accounts be denied, or they can be framed for economic offences. Helpless citizens and businesses may also find themselves at the receiving end of covert human rights violations as even their access to money and existence is disabled by deactivation or blocking of Aadhaar leaving no recourse to survival.
3. Linking Aadhaar to mobiles/bank accounts or PAN converts India into the new tax haven for money launderers as it becomes easy to remotely create benami accounts and operate benami transactions while claiming complete legitimacy. This will destroy India’s economy and governance.
4. Financing crime and terrorism will grow uncontrollably as it becomes increasingly difficult to discover, report or close down such operations. This will make it impossible to ensure national security as the rule of law is destroyed.
5. Corruption will increase as it becomes easier when proceeds will not be traceable to the corrupt. It will be increasingly difficult to restore swarajya and impossible to ensure suraiya.
6. Banks will not be able to contain non-performing-assets, fraud and financial misappropriation as the real users of banking services will be untraceable. The economy will be completely out of control as the black and white economies become indistinguishable.
 
We require that you:
 
1. Immediately issue a notification requiring that all banks cease to link Aadhaar to bank accounts.
2. Immediately ensure that all Aadhaar linkage to any bank account is removed and destroyed.
 
We trust you will share your notifications within 7 days, publish widely your decision to ensure banks abide by the orders of the Supreme Court and not cause us further suffering or require us to seek other remedies and relief for any continued contempt of the Supreme Court of India and failure to respect the rule of law. 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
CC: 
 
Chief Justice of India, â„… Chief Justice's Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201
 
Email to [email protected] and [email protected]
Tweet to @RBI
 
 
(Dr Anupam Saraph is a renowned expert in governance of complex systems and advises governments and businesses across the world. He can be reached @anupamsaraph.)
Comments
Jim Brooks
6 years ago
How to fight Aadhaar coercion. Please retweet and share widely. https://twitter.com/AadhaarMukt/status/953690258528350208
Savitha Gowda
7 years ago
RBI has now said it is mandatory to link Aadhar with bank account. What to do?
Jim Brooks
Replied to Savitha Gowda comment 6 years ago
It is NOT mandatory. They are misleading people if they say it's mandatory. Here's how you can fight back: https://twitter.com/AadhaarMukt/status/953690258528350208
Srinivasa Subramanyam Pingali
7 years ago
What about SC judgement in LOKNITI FOUNDATION vs UNION OF INDIA case on 7th Feb 2017 which mandates Aadhaar based biometric verification for all Existing and new SIM card subscribers across the country? Does it contradict the October 2015 SC judgement that Aadhaar card is voluntary?
Nawalkishore Shrivastava
7 years ago
I am happy and support the views that no person should be compelled for linking Aadhaar in banks and mobile numbers.
Sivakumar
7 years ago
Since today ITR returns will be processed only when you link aadhaar and PAN, how to go about that. Whom should we mail or send a letter to..
A BANERJEE
7 years ago
As a retired IRS veteran, I beg to submit that the intentions of those opposing the move to link Aadhaar with PAN (an idea which I had given to UIADA when the Aadhaar programme was launched), I beg to submit to those opposing the scheme do not appear to have appreciated the need for the same, inter alia considering the question of national security and the problem of illegals.
Prashanth
7 years ago
Thank you for the format and appreciate the help. Also would like moneylife to reconfirm, if the apex court agreed to link aadhar to mobile numbers in the last judgement. At least I recollect reading such news few months back as union goverment argued sim being used for terrorism activities. Reconfirmation would help us.
rajesh ramakrishnan
7 years ago
I really thank our ABOUT THIS BEST RESULT DECLARE. IAM VERY HAPPY. THAT NO PERSON IS PRESSURED FOR AADHAR MANDATORY FOR LINKING IN BANKS AND MOBILE NUMBERS. WE ARE VERY HAPPY. AND SUPPORT THE RESULT. THANK YOU.
Gupta
7 years ago
Most countries in the world have a biometric database of their citizens and a proper citizenship number system. Even to get visa for many countries, we happily pass on our biometric info - fingerprints, iris scan et all. No questions asked, no worries. This is despite the fact that the data is usually given to a third party private agency like VFS etc. and not to the embassy. No one cares a damn. In many many countries, these citizens of their countries easily pass through immigration at their home country airports by using biometric identification + their id card scan. Eventually, aadhar has to grow up into something similar. Instead of campaigning against it, we need to start campaigning to fix the gaps i.e. push the govt to pass a data privacy act covering all legitimate concerns around them. With due respects to Supreme Court, I wonder why SC has to have the final say on everything? Who checks on them to correct their mistakes? What jurisdiction does a court have in the first place to decide how a govt distributes subsidy or does KYC or what should be the scope of aadhar's use - this is a topic for the Executive and Legislature to decide. There has to be a limit to overreach by Courts in India. Are they always right? NO. Are are always timely in giving their decision? - NEVER! Do they like to keep giving sermons to everyone? - ALWAYS? The courts should first put their house in order before trying to fix every Executive lapse by a randomly written court decision.
vish patil
Replied to Gupta comment 7 years ago
You don't contract cancer to curtail it. You quarantine it first, then examine and then do a pilot, find the loopsides again and then you administer.
Gupta
Replied to vish patil comment 7 years ago
If we wait for everything to be perfect to get started, we will never get started. The only point being made is that constructive suggestions or criticism is ok but to outright reject ideas is not. Court can say you cannot use aadhar for xyz until abc is done to address concerns, but how can the court stop the Executive from legislating.
Shankar g
Replied to Gupta comment 7 years ago
Absolutely right.....instead campaigning against everything..and knocking the door of SC for damn everrything, why don't we have constructive suggestion to better the things
Silloo Marker
7 years ago
One is left in a daze by this blatant refusal of the government and its agencies to respect the directives of the Supreme Court regarding the use of the Aadhar Card. What was supposed to be an instrument to facilitate welfare schemes for the economically deprived citizens is turning into a monster in the hands of power-hungry politicians. How far will they go to put citizens totally under their thumb? It is scary, to say the least. Are we headed for a totalitarian regime?
Dayananda
7 years ago
Why can't the Supreme Court initiate contempt of court proceedings in its own suo moto against all these authorities and jail them for a week, so that this trend will stop.
Further they are using this enforced data to support their argument of mandatory aadhar
Ramesh I
7 years ago
This entire Aadhar Project is such a hoax marketed by UPA Govt earlier and the NDA Govt since May 2014 !! Also, despite SC verdict instructing the Govt to restrict it's use to a select few govt welfare schemes, the Govt has been 'forcing' people to enrol for Aadhar for various other facilities which the Govt is not even concerned about (like linking it to one's mobile phone account !). On the one hand not having Aadhar excludes millions of bona fide Indians from govt welfare schemes for various factors beyond their control, and on the other lakhs of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar have managed to get one illegally. So, Aadhar benefits lakhs who are not even Indian citizens, and on the other hand it excludes legitimate beneficiaries. In any other functional democracy, the people / Courts would have taken note of glaring flaws in such a massive govt scheme (Aadhar enrolment is still outsourced to unscrupulous private agencies, when it should be doing it by itself, like the Passport issuance). and turned it into a historic class-action suit long ago. But then, India has never been a functional democracy, with select few (dynasts and otherwise) have always dictated how the Govt must function, and other arms of our democracy, like the judiciary and the Press / media, simply remain onlookers.
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