Telecom operators, banks may be allowed to use Aadhaar: Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said a Parliament-approved legislation can restore mandatory linking of biometric ID Aadhaar with mobile phones and bank accounts, but did not say if the government will bring a new law for the same. The Supreme Court had last month restricted the use of Aadhaar by private entities like telecom operators for verifying the identity of mobile phone users. Here's more.
Jaitley called the SC Aadhaar verdict a 'very sound judgment'
Recalling the verdict, Jaitley said it was a "very sound judgment" as the court accepted there is legitimate state aim in Aadhaar. "Aadhaar is not a citizenship card," he said, adding, "Because after all, you have a system where you give a lot of government money in form of various support, subsidies to all kinds of people. That was the principal objective of Aadhaar."
Supreme Court upheld most of what Aadhaar does, says Jaitley
At HT Leadership Summit, Jaitley said the SC upheld most of what Aadhaar does. "What hadn't been upheld falls in two categories. One is the principle of proportionality that Aadhaar will help in these cases and then do it by an appropriate law," he added.
What has been struck down is by contract: Jaitley
"So the whole argument which was given that private companies can't use it, there is Section 57 which says you can authorize others either by law or contract. So what has been struck down is by contract," the 65-year-old leader said. However, Jaitley added, "By law, it (restoration of linking Aadhaar with mobile phones and bank accounts) can still be done."
"If you can show it's useful, you can link Aadhaar"
Jaitley, however, didn't say if the government plans to bring a law on this. He pointed out the SC permitted Aadhaar linkage in several areas like income tax, based on "the principle of proportionality". "If you are able to show the kind of data that it (Aadhaar linkage) will help, it can happen. So mobile and bank accounts are two critical areas," he said.
SC drew line between two major uses of Aadhaar
The Supreme Court declared constitutional the government's extraordinary attempt to give every resident a biometric ID Aadhaar. It, however, drew a clear line between two kinds of use for biometric authentication - its use for state-provided services like payment of subsidies and taxation records was declared acceptable but restricted its use as authentication tool by the private sector like telecom companies and banks.