DoT to consult other ministries over SC Aadhaar ruling

28 Sep 2018

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision this week to bar private companies from using Aadhaar for customer ID and registration, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is to consult with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) – the agency responsible for managing the Aaadhaar identification system – the law ministry and telecom service providers to ensure that the sector is compliant with the apex court’s ruling. The Economic Times quotes DoT head Aruna Sundararajan as saying the ministry will hold inter-ministerial talks to discuss issues arising from the decision including voluntary use of the Aadhaar system by consumers. Following a Supreme Court ruling in February last year the nation’s mobile providers rolled out the Aadhaar-based ‘electronic know your customer (eKYC)’ system for registering new subscribers and re-verifying existing customers, replacing slower and less reliable verification methods, which could take up to a week to complete. The apex court’s surprise reversal this week has left the industry – including operators and regulators alike – in confusion, with the DoT’s previous directions on subscriber registration now in direct conflict with the new ruling. The DoT has not stated how long it will take to issue fresh instructions to telcos to comply with the new order, but Rajan Matthews, the director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), told the paper that the industry group would take two-three weeks to review the order before submitting their findings to the DoT.