DoT and UIDAI have made it clear that nowhere in the apex court's order it was directed that mobile numbers issued via Aadhaar eKYC had to be disconnected.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has rubbished claims that about 50 crore mobile phone users will lose their connections and may again have to provide fresh documents to complete their Know Your Customer (KYC) process, after the Supreme Court’s recent directive, if they had acquired SIM cards through Aadhaar verification.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) and UIDAI said in a joint statement on Thursday that the reports are not true and just creating “unnecessary panic” among people. “Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement in Aadhaar case has nowhere directed that the mobile number which has been issued through Aadhaar eKYC has to be disconnected. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for panic or fear at all,” the joint statement said.
Telecom operators had been given time till October 15 to comply with the Supreme Court’s directive to close Aadhar-based verification for their services. However, DoT and UIDAI have made it clear that apex court’s order does not direct for disconnection of SIM cards issued via Aadhaar eKYC.
In case, any user wants to get their Aadhaar eKYC replaced with fresh KYC, they can ask their service provider to delink Aadhaar by submitting fresh official valid documents (OVDs), which could be the copy of their passport or PAN card, as per earlier DOT Circulars on mobile KYC. But in any case, no mobile number will be disconnected.
Further, the two bodies also clarified that the Supreme Court did not direct telecommunications operators to delete the eKYC data within a period of six months. Rather, the restriction is on UIDAI as the apex court had asked the UIDAI to not keep authentication logs for over six months, it added.
Meanwhile, the two bodies have also informed that the work is in progress to bring out a hassle-free and digital process to issue new SIM cards via a mobile app. The process of issuing new SIM cards would include capturing a live photograph of the person with longitude, latitude, time stamp. Also, a photo of ID proof like Aadhaar card, voter ID will be captured and the SIM card agent will be authenticated through OTP.