After income tax returns and PAN cards, the government will make it mandatory to produce an Aadhaar card for acquiring or maintaining a mobile connection. The department of telecom (DoT) on Friday issued directives to telecom operators to re-verify their subscribers — both prepaid and postpaid — through an Aadhaar-based eKYC process by February 6, 2018. This order follows the Supreme Court order of February 6, 2017 that Aadhaar-based eKYC verification should be done for all mobile phone numbers in the country.
Subsequently, a month later in February, DoT held deliberations with officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), regulator Trai, UIDAI and the industry on the directions given by the apex court. Issuing directives to the telecom operators, DoT said, “All licensees shall re-verify all existing mobile subscribers (prepaid and postpaid) through Aadhaar-based e-KYC process.”
The time frame provided for the exercise in one year — by February 6, 2018, it added. Operators have to intimate their subscribers via print and television ads and SMSes about the Supreme Court order on the re-verification process. In January, TRAI suggested the use of Aadhaar-based eKYC (Know Your Customer) process, albeit optionally, for both existing as well as outstation mobile subscribers, a move that will help in cracking down on dubious elements acquiring mobile SIMs using forged IDs and documents. FE