Supreme Court clarifies that Aadhar isn’t mandatory for a new SIM connection

Supreme Court clarifies that Aadhar isn’t mandatory for a new SIM connection
Men are silhouetted against a video screen as they pose with smartphones in this photo illustration May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo
  • Supreme Court issues announcement.
  • Aadhaar is not necessary for a new SIM connection.
  • Other documents are also valid for KYC (know-your-customer).

The uncertainty comes to an end with the Supreme Court finally clarifying that users don’t need an Aadhar card, the 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in order to attain a new mobile SIM nationwide. The announcement says that driving licences, passports and voter ID cards are also perfectly acceptable forms of identification for getting a SIM connection.

The telecom operators haven’t confirmed their compliance but, the government is taking the issue seriously nonetheless.

During the past few months, due to the lack of clarification, several complaints had been reported by consumers not being able to get a new connection due to the lack of an Aadhaar card. The issue of the Aadhar card being mandatory was not only an obstacle for Indians, but also for NRIs and foreigners who were traversing through the country.

Arun Sundararajan, Telecom secretary, explained that the reason they’ve made this announcement is to ensure that consumers aren’t inconvenienced any further. She added, “The ministry has issued instructions to all telecom companies, asking not to deny a SIM card to any individual who does not have an Aadhaar number. We have to ask them to accept other forms of KYC (know-your-customer) documents, and continue to issue SIM cards.”

This development comes after the Supreme Court extended the deadline on their final verdict from March 31 indefinitely. Their final standing on the matter is still pending and they haven’t issued any tentative plans for an announcement.