Supreme Court has asked the government to make it mandatory for all the prepaid mobile phone subscribers to link their numbers to Aadhar.
It will also need for scrutinising their identity and ensuring that their SIM cards are not misused for criminal, terrorist and fraudulent activities.
Bench which is headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said that such an exercise could be undertaken in a phased manner. Court has noted that a newer mechanism would be put in place within a year under which newer mobile subscribers would be required to fill up Aadhar Based e-KYC forms for ensuring correct identity.
Authenticating all Mobile Users by Aadhar Cards:
Court told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the existing customers too would be verified. It suggests in giving the unverified pre-paid mobile numbers six months time for submitting identity proof. Failing it would not be allowed any recharge facility.
Bench said, “It is submitted that an effective system will be put in place and the process of scrutiny will be completed in one year. We are satisfied that the prayers made in the writ petition have been substantially dealt with.”
It is hoping that the process would be completed within a year. Top court was hearing a PIL which is filed by Lokniti Foundation and is pointing out that almost five crore pre-paid subscribers were unverified.
Petitioner has sought a direction to the center for putting in place a proper mechanism for checking the authenticity of information provided by mobile users.
Verification was necessary in views of the fact that mobile phones are now even used for banking.
Expressing serious concerns over the possibility of misuse of such phones, bench said that the subscribers could be given an opportunity to verify themselves at the time of recharge.
It didn’t kept the petition pending and recorded Rohatgi’s assurance that the verification would be completed within a year.
Rohatgi admitted that about more than 90% of the mobile phone subscribers were pre-paid and got their phone recharged at kiosks spreaded across the country.
He even said that it was complicated but government would still be putting it in place. Over the earlier hearing CJI Khehar has said that it was important for removing fictitious subscribers. It was further necessary for keeping a check over the fraudulent activities.
Petitioner has highlighted dangers which were posed by unverified SIM cards and even said that it was a grave risk to the national security.