However, the biometrics will not be stored by mobile operators.
The Narendra Modi government will likely deactivate all the mobile numbers that are not linked with Aadhaar card after February 2018 to ensure that criminals, fraudsters and terrorists can not use the issued SIMs. The mobile linkage is being done as per the orders the Supreme Court issued in February in the Lokniti Foundation case, the Centre said. All the unlinked phones will be deactivated post this to ensure that no criminals, fraudsters or terrorists will use the SIMs issued to then which until a year ago was distributed to one and all.
If you haven’t linked your SIM card with your Aadhaar card yet, it is the time that you do.
The Central government had then assured the apex court that a framework for identifying pre-paid mobile users will be introduced within a year.
Earlier this year, the government also mandated the linking of Aadhaar with PAN cards for filing of income tax returns.
It is also revealed that telecom operators are not supposed to store the biometrics or any other personal data of the subscriber. Storage of biometric by a service provider will be deemed as a punishable offence with up to three years of imprisonment under the Aadhaar Act 2016.
UIDAI is an agency of the Indian government which is responsible for implementing the Aadhaar scheme that aims to provide a unique identification number to all the people across the nation.
Meanwhile, bank accounts must be updated with Aadhaar details by December 31, following which accounts not linked to Aadhaar will be considered inoperable.
The Supreme Court on February 6 passed an order and provided a deadline of exactly one year – February 6, 2018 – for compliance. This is being done to prevent criminals, fraudsters, and terrorists from using SIMs in the name of ordinary citizens.