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Are you still being asked to link your phone to Aadhaar? Pre-recorded messages to continue till DoT asks operators to drop them

FP Staff

The annoying message from your operator when you're making a call, asking you to link your mobile number to Aadhaar, continues, even after the Supreme Court (SC) indefinitely extended the deadline to link mobile numbers to Aadhaar.

"We direct that the interim order passed on December 15, 2017 shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced," a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra ruled on Tuesday, providing relief to lakhs of people who have not yet linked their mobile numbers and bank accounts with Aadhaar. However, the Bench, comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, said Aadhaar will be mandatory for obtaining Tatkal passports.

Telecom operators. Representational image. Reuters.

Telecom operators. Representational image. Reuters.

News reports said the extension of the 31 March, 2018, deadline applies to the previously mandatory linking of Aadhaar with mobile phone numbers and bank accounts.

UIDAI tweets

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) tweeted about this:

As per the Supreme Court's order dated 13th March 2018, the requirement of Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts and applying for Tatkal passports under the relevant laws continues. 2/3 €" Aadhaar (@UIDAI) March 13, 2018

However, pre-recorded messages, about the 31 March deadline, continue to target several subscribers. The messages were introduced last year based on a ruling by the SC, which directed the government to verify all phone numbers in India.

But not all mobile subscribers hear this message when they dial a number. Reliance Jio subscribers, for instance, do not hear the message on their phones simply because they (subscribers) were issued connections after their phone numbers were linked with their Aadhaar IDs.

Telecom operators, speaking off the record to Firstpost, said the pre-recorded messages were introduced post a mandate from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Furthermore, they said these messages will be altered, or dropped entirely, only after the DoT officially communicates to operators, telling them that the deadline to link mobile numbers with Aadhaar has been extended indefinitely.

(Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust, which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.)

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