Subscribers who have mobile connections on the basis of Aadhaar-based identification need not fear. Neither do they need to get themselves re-verified based on paper-based identification documents nor will their SIMs be disconnected. The government on Thursday clarified that subscribers who have enrolled based on Aadhaar e-KYC need not get themselves re-verified using alternate paper-based documents. Only if such users want their Aadhaar details de-linked, they need to get themselves re-verified. There won’t be any disconnection of SIMs as was reported in a section of the press.
Debunking reports that over 50 crore, or half of the mobile SIMs in the country, faced deactivation, the department of telecommunications and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in a joint statement said that mobile phone users at their choice can seek a change of their Aadhaar-based authentication done in the past with an alternate proof of identity without any disconnection of the number.
An alternate form for buying new SIMs through a mobile app that will time capture photograph of the persons along with an ID proof such as Aadhaar card, voter ID or passport is in the works, it said. “The Supreme Court in its judgment in the Aadhaar case has nowhere directed that the mobile number which has been issued through Aadhaar e-KYC has to be disconnected,” it said.
Terming reports on disconnection as “completely untrue and imaginary”, the government said there is no reason for panic or fear at all. “People should not believe in such rumours,” it said.
The Supreme Court has also not asked for deletion of the electronic-KYC (a means of establishing the identity of the person) data of telecom customers after six months, the statement said.
“What the apex court has asked that the UIDAI should not keep authentication log for more than six months. The restriction of not keeping authentication log beyond six months is on the UIDAI and not on the telecom companies. Therefore, there is no need for telecom companies or AUAs/JUAs to delete authentication logs at their end,” it added.
AUA is authentication user agency (AUA) and KUA is KYC user agency (KUA).
Meanwhile, DoT-UIDAI said that telecom companies are required to keep authentication logs at their end as per Aadhaar regulations to resolve any consumer grievances.
“In the light of the SC verdict if anybody wishes to get his/her Aadhaar eKYC replaced by the fresh KYC, he/she may request the service provider for delinking of his/her Aadhaar by submitting a fresh” identification documentation, it said.
The Supreme Court, it said, has prohibited the issue of new SIM cards through the Aadhaar eKYC authentication process due to lack of a law. “There is no direction to deactivate the old mobile phones,” the statement added.
The telecom department and UIDAI are in the process to bring out a completely hassle-free and digital process for issuing new SIM cards through a mobile app, which will be fully compliant of the Supreme Court judgment. —FE