Want to delink Aadhaar from bank account? Here is what you can do
There is a range of services and entitlements that require Aadhaar authentication of the beneficiaries. These include holding bank accounts, activities requiring PAN card, Voter ID card, LPG connection, ration card, mobile phone number and passport, and availing benefits of various subsidies through direct benefit transfer scheme.
With the Narendra Modi government laying greater emphasis on digitisation, the banks and telecom service providers have been pushing the customers to link their Aadhaar details with them. However, the Supreme Court, in its March 2018 ruling, made it clear that linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, passports and the like was not mandatory.
Though the Aadhaar linking is mandatory, the Supreme Court ruled, for availing benefits under social welfare schemes and subsidies provided by the government, the same cannot be the case with other services.
The Supreme Court had quashed the March 31-deadline for linking bank accounts and mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar. The Aadhaar linking is not mandatory till the Supreme Court decides so. It is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the government's order to link Aadhaar biometric ID details for a range of services provided by public and private agencies.
The PIL argues that the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to private and public services is a violation of the right to privacy that the Supreme Court declared as a fundamental right under Article 21 (Right to Life) in August last year.
Ironically, crores of people had already linked their biometric details to banks and telecom service providers through e-KYC or c-KYC process before the Supreme Court ruling came. Some of them may be wondering if they can delink their Aadhaar number from bank accounts or mobile phone numbers.
According to the "Compendium of Regulations, Circulars and Guidelines" for authentication of Aadhaar-based e-KYC, available on the official website of UIADI (Unique Identification Authority of India), an Aadhaar number holder is entitled to delink his biometric details shared with any authorised agency or service provider.
The compendium says, "The Aadhaar number holder may, at any time, revoke consent given to a KUA for storing his e-KYC data or for sharing it with third parties, and upon such revocation, the KUA shall delete the e-KYC data and cease any further sharing."
This means an Aadhaar card holder is legally allowed to delink her biometric identification details from bank accounts and mobile phone numbers.
Aadhaar delinking can be done by submitting an application to the branch of the bank where the customer has an account stating the reason for revoking her consent. A similar application can be submitted to concerned telecom operator for Aadhaar delinking.
What may happen after Aadhaar delinking from bank accounts and mobile phone numbers?
As the government intends to make all services Aadhaar-based, the telemarketers working for banks and telecom service providers may keep calling you up asking for biometric seeding of your account. But, till the Supreme Court decides otherwise, it's your call to link or delink your Aadhaar number with any public or private service.