The Supreme Court sought the government’s response on four petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with the 12-digit biometric identification number.
A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, however, said that banks and mobile service providers must mention the deadlines – December 31 and February 6 – in SMSess sent to customers on linking their accounts to the Aadhaar numbers.
The apex court, however, pulled up banks and mobile telephone companies for creating panic by sending customers messages saying their accounts will be deactivated if they don’t link them to Aadhaar.
“I don’t want to say (so) but I also get messages,” said Justice Sikri, referring to the sometimes umpteen-a-day text messages threatening deactivation for not linking one’s Aadhaar to one’s bank account and mobile phone number.
The top court asked these institutions to avoid scaring people in this manner, while it was hearing a plea from social activists to restrain the Centre from linking Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile phone numbers until a Constitution bench decides its validity.