During final hearings in the matter of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India [W.P. (C) No. 494/2012], where a batch of 29 petitions have challenged the overall validity of the Aadhaar scheme, the Supreme Court of India issued an interim order dated 13/3/2018 extending several Aadhaar linking deadlines until final disposal of the petitions. Among the linking deadlines so extended was the March 31, 2018 deadline to link existing mobile phone numbers and bank accounts with Aadhaar. In other words, Indian residents are no longer required to link their existing mobile phone numbers or bank accounts with Aadhaar until such time as a final verdict is pronounced in K.S. Puttaswamy. As final hearings are still on-going and the verdict is not expected for a few weeks (or months), there currently is no applicable deadline for these compulsory linkages.
Despite this, there have been countless reports of telcos and banks harassing their customers with highly disruptive reminders about Aadhaar linkage. Some have even tried indirect ways to force Aadhaar linkage, for instance by insisting that customers quote their Aadhaar number to receive an additional service. If you have been facing such problems from your telco or bank, below is a template letter you can send them to remind them of the Supreme Court’s extension of Aadhaar linking deadlines. While we’re not saying that the letter will immediately solve the problem, we hope that if enough customers respond this way, telcos and banks will eventually find incentive to stop harassing their customers – at least until a new deadline is notified, if at all.
Feel free to use the following text for your letter after replacing the italicized and underlined fields with your own details, and remember to attach a copy of the Supreme Court’s interim order available here.
SUB: Contempt of the Interim order dated 13/3/18 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court
This concerns the repeated reminders and other communications that I have been receiving from you, urging me to link my [mobile phone number/bank account – use either term as applicable] to my Aadhaar number.
It is brought to your kind attention that as per an interim order dated 13/3/18 issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of K.S. Puttaswamy and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors. [W.P. (C) No. 494/2012], the last date for linking existing [mobile phone numbers/bank accounts – use either term as applicable] with Aadhaar stands extended until such time as said petition is finally disposed off. A copy of the order is attached with this letter. It is also brought to your notice that as proceedings in this matter are still on-going, there currently is no applicable deadline by which I am legally obligated to link my Aadhaar number to your service.
Your repeated reminders to do otherwise therefore have no legal basis, and I remind you that any coercive measures taken in this regard are punishable under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. In addition, your unwarranted communications are nothing short of harassing, and they significantly interfere with my continued use of your services.
In view of the above, you are requested to immediately cease sending me reminders of any kind regarding Aadhaar linkage until such time as a valid deadline has been notified by the Government or the Hon’ble Supreme Court as the case may be. You are also advised to refrain from taking any measure that directly or indirectly coerces me into linking my [mobile phone number/bank account] with Aadhaar, as failure to do so will attract legal action.
[Mobile phone/bank account number – quote either number as applicable]