APRIL 25, 2018
NEW DELHI: For more than a year, the centre has cited a Supreme Court ruling to order millions of mobile phone subscribers to link their phone connection with an Aadhaar number and many have complied. Today, the Supreme Court pulled out the ruling. It turned out that the Supreme Court had never ordered the government to link mobile phones with Aadhaar.
But this is what last year’s department of telecommunications order had proclaimed.
This government order, apparently based on a non-existent court ruling, was the basis for the barrage of messages from mobile companies to their subscribers, threatening to disconnect phone connections if the mobile phones were not linked by a deadline.
The telecom department’s notification says that Aadhaar and SIM should be linked on the direction of the Supreme Court but the Supreme Court had not issued any such direction in that case, said Justices AK Sikri and DY Chandrachud, two of the five judges on the constitution bench hearing a batch of petitions against the identification programme.
It was during this hearing that the judges finally decided to check up with the lawyer for UIDAI, the body that runs the Aadhaar programme.
Rakesh Dwivedi, who had yesterday asked the judges to rule like doctors to save Aadhaar, initially quoted the Supreme Court’s verdict from last year. But both judges shot back, pointing that they had read up on the verdict which only recorded the submission of the government and the top court had passed no such orders.