NEW DELHI: Posing a fresh challenge to Aadhaar, a writ in the Supreme Court has questioned the constitutional validity of the Reserve Bank of India's decision to make its linkage with bank accounts mandatory, adding strength to pending pleas challenging the unique identification on the grounds of violation of privacy.
"The government has issued a gazette notification GSR 538(E) dated 1 June 2017 regarding Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, inter alia, making furnishing of Aadhaar (for those individuals who are eligible to be enrolled for Aadhaar) and permanent number (PAN) mandatory for opening a bank account," the central bank said.
The new petition by Kalyani Menon Sen, who describes herself as a feminist scholar and activist working for 25 years on issues relating to women's rights, also challenged the validity of the March 23 circular issued by the department of telecommunication making it mandatory for citizens to link their mobile phones with Aadhaar.
Terming the mandatory linkage of bank accounts with Aadhaar as an arbitrary amendment to the KYC requirement, the petitioner said, "Building a database dependent on Aadhaar and information linked there constitutes an unreasonable risk for financial autonomy and privacy of account holders, banks and financial sovereignty of the nation."
The right to privacy in the context of these two circulars (linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones) has violated a citizen's complete right over ownership and control of his core biometric information to the exclusion of all others, including the State."
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