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Linking Aadhaar with bank account mandatory, says RBI

22 October, 2017, 02:27 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • A woman gets her iris scanned while registering for an Aadhaar number. The UIDAI had on July 14 asked banks to open Aadhaar enrolment and updating facilities in at least one-tenth of their branches by the end of August

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) "has not issued any instruction so far regarding mandatory liking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts, even as banks continue to remind customers of the December deadline for linking Aadhaar with their bank accounts, reveals an RTI reply".

However, the banks started pushing for Aadhaar and bank accounts to be linked since June when an official government notification said that if customers failed to link Aadhaar to bank accounts the latter would be invalidated.

The government should make it clear before the common citizens of the country that the seeding of Aadhaar is purely voluntary and not mandatory, All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) said in a statement. According to the RBI, these rules have "statutory force and, as such, banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions".

A nine-judge Constitution bench of the SC had in August ruled unanimously that the "right to privacy is an integral part of right to life and personal liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution". The Central Government had added in its order that if the existing bank account holders do not submit their Aadhaar number to the concerned bank, the transaction through the account would be stopped or suspended. The directive came ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on a batch of petitions on Aadhaar-related matters in November.

"Dear preferred customer, Govt of India has mandated linking of Aadhaar with your bank A/C".

Supreme Court will still hear the plea to not mandate Aadhaar linkage to bank accounts.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in Budget 2017, had mandated seeding of Aadhaar number with Permanent Account Number (PAN) to avoid individuals using multiple PANs to evade taxes.

The apex bank further clarified that in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017.

The Central Government had made Aadhaar mandatory for opening bank accounts and money transactions above Rs 50,000 in June 2107.



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