Aadhaar not needed for mobile SIM; passport, voter ID or licence will do

You no longer need an Aadhaar card to buy a mobile SIM. File photo
You no longer need an Aadhaar to get a mobile connection; telecom companies would now also accept other documents like passport, driving licence and voter ID, with the Centre reportedly directing them immediately implement a new rule to this effect. 

The development comes after the Supreme Count on March 14 issued an interim order indefinitely extending the deadline for linking Aadhaar to bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, passports and other services, beyond the previous deadline of March 31. A five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said there was no need to link Aadhaar to these services until a judgment was pronounced on the constitutionality of the unique identification programme. 

Here are the top updates on new rules clarifying whether or not Aadhaar is mandatory for procuring mobile SIMs: 

1) Aadhaar no longer mandatory: You no longer need an Aadhaar card to buy a mobile SIM, The Times of India reported on Wednesday. The government had directed telecom companies to accept alternative documents like driving licence, passport and voter ID, the report said. Further, it said quoting Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan that telecom operators had been asked to follow the new rule with immediate effect.  

2) SC earlier extended the deadline indefinitely: The Supreme Court on March 14 had extended the March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail of various services and welfare schemes run by the government until its Constitution Bench delivered its verdict on the validity of the 12-digit biometric number and its enabling law. 

3) Deadline extension applies to Aadhaar-mobile number linking: The extension of deadline also applies to the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers. The Constitution Bench is hearing a batch of petitions that have challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling Act. 

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