Linking Aadhaar to mobile and bank accounts is illegal

 Here is what you can do if you are forced

 
Mobile linkage
Various telecom companies are citing TRAI and DOT notifications to force you to link Aadhaar to your mobile else face disconnection. While it is not amusing that the government believes that a SIM issued in someone’s name is used by the same person and terrorists and criminals do KYCwith their own documents or Aadhaar, here are just three ways that requiring an Aadhaar to obtain a SIM endangers India:
1. It enables terrorists, criminals and anti-national forces to obtain multiple SIMs through eKYC, claims of eKYC, or submitting Aadhaar cards of other persons and use them in turn to open bank accounts for money laundering and financing anti-national activities.
2. It facilitates obtaining all documents like passport, and drivers licenses by using the new SIM and the Aadhaar. It, therefore, destroys our ability to distinguish a citizen from an illegal immigrant. It is therefore like the disease AIDS for the country.
3. The SIM treated as a proof of identity of the user allows infiltration of the country, even its defence services, with terrorists and anti-nationals causing a national security threat.
Here are just three ways that requiring an Aadhaar to obtain a SIM endangers you:
1. Because Aadhaar and one time passcode (OTP) are treated as “second factor authentication”, SIMs issued with your Aadhaar will be the single point for fraudsters to hack your identity, commit crime and rob you of your property, dignity, liberty, equality and access to justice.
2. Bank accounts opened using your Aadhaar and SIM, as well as property transactions, registration of contracts will no longer be in your control or with your knowledge and traceability. Because the use of “your” SIM in these instances will leave little deniability, if you are accused of these acts, it will destroy your right to justice.
3. The SIMs issued using your Aadhaar allow anyone in possession of such SIMs to impersonate you in both your private and public life. Not only will you have no way to know of such misuse, but you even have no ability to prove and control the misuse.
Bank linkage
Most banks have gone on an overdrive of threatening to freeze existing bank accounts unless customers to link Aadhaar. They are also refusing to open new bank accounts without Aadhaar, citing GSR 538(E), the amendment to the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003)(PMLA), on June 1st 2017.
It is not amusing either that the government believes that Aadhaar identifies anyone at all, provides proof of the persons authorisation or consent to opening bank accounts or even to do bank transactions. Here are just three ways that linking an Aadhaar number to a bank account or carrying out bank transactions destroys India’s financial systems:
1. When pressured to link Aadhaar to bank accounts, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had maintained that the use of the Aadhaar number was in conflict with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Basel Standards for maintaining customer information and its own extant guidelines. The RBI also highlighted that at best the Aadhaar is a third party identification and such third party identification is not used in banking practices anywhere in the world. It had also highlighted that the use of eKYC destroys customer acquisition information and customer records. As such, Aadhaar enables millions of shell bank accounts to be opened.
2. Bank accounts opened with Aadhaar can be created and operated remotely and therefore create a framework for money laundering at a scale that is impossible with pre-Aadhaar KYC. In five years post Aadhaar KYC, bank accounts in India have doubled from 44 crore to 88 crore and deposits have also doubled from Rs66 lakh crore to Rs122 lakh crore suggesting shell accounts with black money being parked in them.
3. Aadhaar-enabled Payment Systems (AEPS) transfer money from Aadhaar to Aadhaar number and not bank accounts. Such money transfers do not leave money trail and therefore facilitate money laundering in ways that was not possible with National Electronics Funds Transfer System (NEFT) or Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
Here are just three ways that linking Aadhaar to your bank accounts endangers you:
1. Your bank account becomes Aadhaar enabled allowing AEPS to transfer money into or from your account as soon as you link it to Aadhaar. This means all money transfers through the AEPS to or from your bank account will be un-traceable and therefore, also irreversible.
2. Money transfers to your account can now be hijacked by a “phishing” account that links itself to your Aadhaar number to receive money meant for you. Such money transfers may become impossible to track and reverse, as they do not leave any money trail.
3. Crime committed using duplicate accounts opened with your Aadhaar number will point to you, not the fraudster. This will also leave you defenseless and deprive you of recourse to justice.
What can you do?
Neither the Aadhaar linkage to mobiles nor the linkage to bank accounts is legal. In fact, it even violates the orders of the Supreme Court and is counter to the Rule of Law. The coercion to link Aadhaar to mobile phones started because of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecom (DoT) colluded to ignore the Court’s orders, the rule of law, and existing legislation to produce notifications that mislead, misquote and cause coercion.
The coercion to link bank accounts started because the Department of Revenue, under the Ministry of Finance issued an illegal notification ignoring the law, Court orders and the rule of law.

Government notifications forcing you to link Aadhaar to mobiles, bank accounts and other services are illegal, contempt of the orders of the Supreme Court and a disrespect of the rule of law. You can send letters to the authorities that you too can reuse and demand they respect orders of the Supreme Court of India, the Rule of Law and protect national interests as well as yourself.

Here are Open Letters to TRAI Chairman and Secretary Revenue to end illegal Aadhaar Coercion. The first to the Chairman of TRAI and the second to the Secretary, Dept of Revenue, asking them to end the illegalities, restore respect of the Supreme Court and respect the Rule of Law. You too can endorse them and spread them by mailing/emailing them, or sharing them on social media till the respective government offices respect the orders of the Supreme Court. Together, let us restore the Rule of Law, the protection of our national security, financial integrity and respect for national interests.
(Dr Anupam Saraph is a renowned expert in governance of complex systems and advises governments and businesses across the world. He can be reached @anupamsaraph)
***********************************************************************************
October 2nd 2017 
Chairman,
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India 
Mahanagar Doorsanchar Bhawan (next to Zakir Hussain College) 
Jawaharlal Nehru Marg (Old Minto Road) 
New Delhi: 110 002
cp@trai.gov.in @rssharma3 @trai 
Dear Mr RS Sharma,
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
Mr. Sanjeev Banzal, Advisor(NSL) recommended, vide No 102-2/2015-NSL-II dated January 20th 2017, to the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications to use Aadhaar based eKYC to re-verify existing mobile subscribers. 
Mr. Prashant Verma, ADG (AS-II) of Ministry of Communications, Department of Telecommunications (Access Services Cell) has been instructing all unified licensees, unified access service licensees and cellular mobile service licensees vide File No. 800-26/2016-AS.IIdated 23.03.2017 to re-verify all existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar based eKYC process. Mr. Verma uses the documentation by the order of two member bench of the Supreme Court in WP(C) 607/2016 dated 06.02.2017 of the position brought to its notice as a direction of the court. He also asks the licensees to destroy old customer acquisition forms after an Aadhaar “verification”.
Mr Sanjay Kapur had filed an IA on behalf of the TRAI (IA 22, 23 of 2015) on Oct 3rd 2015 with the prayer to modify its order of 11.08.2015 in WP 494 of 2012 to permit biometric eKYC for paperless activation of telephone connections/SIM cards as an alternative process to the existing process of verification of telecom subscribers, till the disposal of the present writ petition. Kindly note the following:
1. A five member bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India in its order dated Oct 15th 2015, turned down your prayer to allow linkage of Aadhaar numbers with SIM activation. The court reiterated all its previous orders. In particular we draw your attention that the court  stated that:
1. “After hearing the learned Attorney General for India and other learned senior counsels, we are of the view that in paragraph 3 of the Order dated 11.08.2015, if we add, apart from the other two Schemes, namely, P.D.S. Scheme and the L.P.G. Distribution Scheme, the Schemes like The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employement Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for the present, it would not dilute earlier order passed by this Court. Therefore, we now include the aforesaid Schemes apart from the other two Schemes that this Court has permitted in its earlier order dated 11.08.2015” 
2. “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013
3. “We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”
2. The three member bench of the Court had noted earlier in its order of August 11, 2015 that: “The learned Attorney General had stated that the respondent Union of India would ensure that Aadhaar cards would only be issued on a consensual basis after informing the public at large about the fact that the preparation of Aadhaar card involving the parting of biometric information of the individual, which shall however not be used for any purpose other than a social benefit schemes.”. It had therefore ordered that 
1. “The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme;
2. “The information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a Court for the purpose of criminal investigation. 
3. In its first order of September 23, 2013, the apex court had highlighted that “In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory”.
4. Furthermore, the use of Aadhaar for linking to other databases, retention, storage or publishing is not only prohibited but also a punishable offence under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016
It is evident that all communications of the TRAI/DOT to require linkage of Aadhaar are invalid and bad in law. Moreover, they are also in contempt of the Supreme Court and are showing complete disrespect for the Rule of Law. 
In light of these facts, and to ensure that you do not continue to commit contempt of the Supreme Court of India, disregard the Rule of Law and get embroiled in needless controversy and criminality that results from the use and linkage of Aadhaar with the issue and use of SIM and telephones, we require that you kindly issue an immediate and urgent notification and advertise widely highlighting these facts and that mobile and telephone companies can not and do not require or use Aadhaar numbers or Aadhaar information for any process.
Sincerely yours,
CC 
1. TRAI members and Advisors

memberak@trai.gov.in
mamidala@ee.iitd.ac.in
secretary@trai.gov.in
pradvbcs@trai.gov.in
sunil.bajpai@trai.gov.in
pradvnsl@trai.gov.in
skmishra@trai.gov.in
advcait@trai.gov.in
advadmn@trai.gov.in
advlegal@trai.gov.in
mkasim@trai.gov.in
advqos@trai.gov.in
advifn@trai.gov.in
advmn@trai.gov.in
advfea1@trai.gov.in
sanjeet.singh@trai.gov.in
arvindsinha59@gmail.com
adv.bengaluru@trai.gov.in
adv.jaipur@trai.gov.in
adv.kolkata@trai.gov.in
muralighanta@gmail.com

2. Chief Justice of India, ℅ Chief Justice’s Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201 Email: supremecourt@nic.in

***********************************************************************************
October 2nd 2017
Secretary,
Ministry of Finance,
128-A/North Block, 
New Delhi
Dear Dr Hasmukh Adhia,
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
Mandeep Kaur, Dy. Secretary of your department notified GSR 538(E), citing powers conferred by sub-section (1) read with clause (h), clause (i), clause (j) and clause (k) of sub-section (2) of section 73 of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003), on June 1st 2017.
We draw your attention to the following:
1. A five member bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India in its order dated Oct 15th 2015, had reiterated all its previous orders. In particular we draw your attention that the court  stated that:
1. “After hearing the learned Attorney General for India and other learned senior counsels, we are of the view that in paragraph 3 of the Order dated 11.08.2015, if we add, apart from the other two Schemes, namely, P.D.S. Scheme and the L.P.G. Distribution Scheme, the Schemes like The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Providend Fund Organisation (EPFO) for the present, it would not dilute earlier order passed by this Court. Therefore, we now include the aforesaid Schemes apart from the other two Schemes that this Court has permitted in its earlier order dated 11.08.2015” 
2. “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013”
3. “We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”
5. The three member bench of the court had noted earlier in its order of August 11, 2015 that: “The learned Attorney General had stated that the respondent Union of India would ensure that Aadhaar cards would only be issued on a consensual basis after informing the public at large about the fact that the preparation of Aadhaar card involving the parting of biometric information of the individual, which shall however not be used for any purpose other than a social benefit schemes.”. It had therefore ordered that 
1. “The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme;”
2. “The information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a Court for the purpose of criminal investigation. 
6. In its first order of September 23, 2013  court had highlighted that “In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for  not  getting the Aadhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had  issued a circular making it mandatory”.
7. Under section 74 of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003) every rule made under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.The rules have not been laid before the Parliament as required by parliamentary procedure
8. Furthermore while clause (h) of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (15 of 2003)was omitted by s. 29 with effect from 15.2.2013 and clause (i), clause (j) and clause (k) of sub-section (2) of section 73 does not allow for freezing of any  asset or making it inoperable.
9. Furthermore, the use of Aadhaar for linking to other databases, retention, storage or publishing is not only prohibited but also a punishable offence under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016
It is evident that the GSR 538(E) to require linkage of Aadhaar is invalid and bad in law. More over it is in contempt of the Supreme Court and a disrespect for the Rule of Law. The tactic to coerce people under an invalid legislation that is in contempt of court is undemocratic and deplorable at the very least.
In light of these facts, and to ensure that you do not continue to commit contempt of the Supreme Court of India, disregard the Rule of Law and get embroiled in needless controversy, money-laundering, and criminality that results from the use and linkage of Aadhaar with the opening of bank accounts and undertaking financial transactions, we require that you kindly issue an immediate and urgent notification and advertise widely highlighting these facts and that banks can not and do not require or use Aadhaar numbers or Aadhaar information for any process including KYC and payment transactions.
Sincerely yours,
CC 
1. Dr Urjit R Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, 16th floor, Central Office Building, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai – 400 001 urjitrpatel@rbi.org.ingovernor@rbi.org.in for similar action to notify banks to purge all Aadhaar usage
2. Chief Justice of India, ℅ Chief Justice’s Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201 Email: supremecourt@nic.in
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One Comment on “Linking Aadhaar to mobile and bank accounts is illegal”

  1. People are still harassed by repeated SMS from bank an telecom companies. Is it ever going to stop, or do we succumb to pressure?


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