The Supreme Court has directed telecom operators and banks to ensure that messages sent to customers, reminding them to link their Aadhaar details with their respective mobile numbers and bank accounts, must clearly specify the deadline. However, the deadlines for linking Aadhaar to mobile numbers (February 6, 2018) and bank accounts (December 31, 2017) have not been extended, unlike what certain media outlets had reported earlier in the day. See here and here.

The confusion was created because of an affidavit submitted by the central government (see image in tweet below), which stated that the deadline “maybe extended up to 31.03.2018 (March 31, 2018).” However, the centre hasn’t issued any notification to this effect.

The SC has also clubbed the four new petitions brought before it with the previous Aadhaar cases, and all of these are expected to be heard by a Constitution Bench by the end of November 2017. The Court also mentioned that in case these petitions aren’t heard by November-end, it might issue interim orders to stay Aadhaar-mobile numbers and Aadhaar-bank accounts linking.

Note that last month, the centre had told the SC that it was willing to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various government welfare schemes till March 31, 2018. However, even in this case no final decision or notification has been issued as yet. Around 135 government funded welfare schemes come under this.

Verify mobile SIM without Aadhaar biometrics from December 1

Earlier this week, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) informed that from December 1 onward, customers will be able to verify their mobile SIM via the one-time password (OTP) method, and will no longer have to go through the biometric authentication process. Essentially, at the time of verifying their SIM, customers will receive an OTP on the mobile number registered with Aadhaar, which the SIM cards retailer will use to complete the verification. Currently, customers need to provide their fingerprint(s) to complete the verification.