It's Govt's call to link a/cs, Aadhaar: RBI

It's Govt's call to link a/cs, Aadhaar: RBI

The move of the Central bank came at a time when it faced the heat from media reports, quoting a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application that suggested that the apex bank has not issued any order for mandatory Aadhaar linkage with bank accounts.

As per AIBOC Aadhaar Act of 2016 was meant for targeted delivery of financial and other subsidies, benefits and services. how can the government make it mandatory for continued access to banking and telecom facilities that were not covered by the Act in the first place.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in August had said that 524 million Aadhaar numbers had been linked to 736.2 million bank accounts in India. The RTI query also asked if the central bank had the Supreme Court's permission for mandatory linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar. "It may be noted that the Reserve Bank has not yet issued an instruction in this regard".

The last date for linking bank accounts with Aadhaar card is December 31 and all banks have been asking their customers to do the needful at the earliest. Small accounts can still be opened without the Aadhaar cards.

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The RBI issued the clarification to quell confusion raised by certain reports that Aadhaar linkage was not mandatory. It said in a statement the requirement remained in force under anti-money laundering rules.

Sen's petition, filed through advocate Vipin Nair, said the government's decision to link Aadhaar with bank accounts by amending rules under PMLA violate the solemn promise given by the authorities that parting of biometrics by individuals was on a voluntary basis.

GSR 538 is also in violation of Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act that directs both the central and state governments to not use the Aadhaar number for any goal other than receipt of a subsidy, benefit or service for which the expenditure is incurred from, or the receipt there from forms part of the Consolidated Fund of India.

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