Resisting linking your mobile or your bank account to Aadhaar is not just about rejecting Aadhaar, it is about your safety and protecting national interest
The orders of the Supreme Court of India
On 23 September 2013 the Supreme Court ordered that “no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily”. On 24 March 2014, the apex court had reiterated that “no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/circulars/likes so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith”.
In its order of 11 August 2015, the SC ordered that Aadhaar may not be used for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme, for the distribution of foodgrains, and cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG. This was extended to allow its use for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in its orders of 15 October 2016. The court also stated that the information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose.
In its orders of 15 October 2015 passed by a five-member bench headed by the then Chief Justice the Supreme Court emphasised that, “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23 September 2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”.
On 14 September 2016 in the matter of WP 686 of 2016 the apex court stayed the operation and implementation of  that or Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they have made submission of Aadhaar mandatory.
The orders of government authorities mandating Aadhaar
In a blatant contempt of the Supreme Court of India and in disrespect for the rule of law, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 20 January 2017, issued a letter to Department of Telecommunications (DOT) to ask for linkage of an Aadhaar number to each mobile number. On 1 June 2017, the Ministry of Finance issued a notification mandating the linkage of all bank accounts with Aadhaar numbers before 31 December 2017, failing which they shall be frozen. This is despite the fact that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had repeatedly indicated that the Aadhaar is not an acceptable KYC under international banking practices as at best it is a third party identification, not acceptable in banking. The RBI had maintained that the use of the Aadhaar number was in conflict with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Basel Standards for maintaining customer information and its own extant guidelines.
Furthermore section 29 and section 8 of the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016 prohibit the linkage, retention, storing and publishing of the Aadhaar number. Any requirement to link the Aadhaar number with any other database, service or right is therefore illegal under the Aadhaar Act, the orders of the Supreme Court, national interests and the interests of the citizens of India.
At least a dozen petitions, including several contempt petitions remain unheard by the Supreme Court and are expected to be heard once the nine-member bench decides on whether Indian’s have a fundamental right to privacy. Irrespective of the hearing or its outcomes, it is evident that the linkage of Aadhaar is neither legal nor does it serve any national interest. It is also widely established that apart from being exclusionary, it makes individuals vulnerable to identity fraud and the nation to crime and anti-national interests.
Most service providers express helplessness as they force customers, as they, in turn, receive orders over “phone-calls” and are made to give explanations for non-linkage of Aadhaar. They need the consumer to join the resistance to this blatant disrespect of the law in order to be able to protect the country and its citizens from the Aadhaar Frankenstein.
What can you do? 
Here are draft notices, modified from a previous letter used by thousands across the country, you could use to refuse to link Aadhaar to your mobile or with your bank account. Edit appropriately, use and share widely.
Notice to your mobile service provider/bank:
Name/Address of concerned mobile service provider/bank that is forcing for linkage of Aadhaar number
Dear Sir/Madam,
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
As per the Supreme Court order dated 15 October 2015, Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for the purposes of linking to mobile phones/bank accounts. As Supreme Court orders take precedence over Acts of Parliament in the hierarchy of law, I am not compelled to obtain or link an Aadhaar to avail of mobile or banking services. Furthermore, the use of Aadhaar for linking to other databases, retention, storage or publishing is not only prohibited but also a punishable offence under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016
I request you kindly accept to continue my mobile/ banking services uninterrupted and acknowledge receipt of this letter.
Furthermore, I would like to bring to your attention the following:
1. Aadhaar is not a verified or audited database, neither the UIDAI nor any other government authority certify it as a proof of identity, address, resident status or even the existence of any person.
2. The linkage of Aadhaar to mobiles/ bank accounts will result in the innocent losing money, reputation and access to justice, dignity and livelihood as their Aadhaar numbers can act as mules for obtain SIMs, opening bank accounts and facilitate money laundering. Their subsidy and other Aadhaar enabled payments can be easily compromised. Their access to their own bank accounts be denied, or they can be framed for economic offences. Helpless citizens and businesses may also find themselves at the receiving end of covert human rights violations as even their access to money and existence is disabled by deactivation or blocking of Aadhaar leaving no recourse to survival.
3. Linking Aadhaar to mobiles/bank accounts or PAN converts India into the new tax haven for money launderers as it becomes easy to remotely create benami accounts and operate benami transactions while claiming complete legitimacy. This will destroy India’s economy and governance.
4. Financing crime and terrorism will grow uncontrollably as it becomes increasingly difficult to discover, report or close down such operations. This will make it impossible to ensure national security as the rule of law is destroyed.
5. Corruption will increase as it becomes easier when proceeds will not be traceable to the corrupt. It will be increasingly difficult to restore swarajya and impossible to ensure surajya.
6. Banks will not be able to contain non-performing-assets, fraud and financial misappropriation as the real users of banking services will be untraceable. The economy will be completely out of control as the black and white economies become indistinguishable.
In light of these facts, and to ensure that you do not get embroiled in needless controversy and criminality that you kindly take up the matter with the highest offices of the Government of India and not proceed further with Aadhaar-mobile/bank linking.
We trust your will not cause me, or anyone, suffering for not linking the Adhaar inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory. We urge you to publish widely your decision to abide by the orders of the Supreme Court, the Aadhaar Act, the national interest and the interest of the citizens of India. We trust your commitment to abide by the rule of law will not require us to seek other remedies and relief or cause any failures to respect the rule of law. 
Sincerely yours,
CC 
1. President of India, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi – 110 004 email: presidentofindia@rb.nic.in
2. Chief Justice of India, ℅ Chief Justice’s Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201 Email: supremecourt@nic.in
 
 
Notice to the UIDAI: 
 
Here is a draft notice of contempt you should also send to the UIDAI along with copies of the relevant orders of the Supreme Court for contempt of the orders of the Supreme Court.
 
Dr AB Pandey
Chief Executive Officer (CEO),
Unique Identification Authority of India -UIDAI
3rd Floor, Tower II, Jeevan Bharati Building,
Connaught Circus,
New Delhi – 110001
 
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
 
On 23rd September 2013 the Supreme Court ordered that “no person should suffer for not getting the Adhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily”. On 24th March 2014 the court had reiterated that “no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/circulars/likes so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith”.
 
In its order of 11th August 2015, the court ordered that Aadhaar may not be used for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme, for the distribution of foodgrains, and cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG. This was extended to allow its use for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in its orders of October 15th, 2016. The court also stated that the information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose.
 
In its orders of 15th October 2015 passed by a 5 member bench headed by the then Chief Justice the court emphasised that, “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”.
 
On 14th September 2016 in the matter of WP 686 of 2016 the court stayed the operation and implementation of  that or Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they have made submission of Aadhaar mandatory.
 
Despite this, in complete contempt of the Supreme Court of India and in blatant disrespect of the rule of law, you have been allowing the access to the UID numbers for uses beyond those permitted by the court or allowed under the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016.
 
We require that you:
 
1. Immediately cease providing any authentication and/or KYC or support and use of the Aadhaar number for purposes other than those permitted by the Supreme Court of India.  
2. Cease to provide any Aadhaar authentication or KYC to any organisation mandating or requiring the use of Aadhaar number beyond the permitted purposes.  
3. Issue notifications and wide publicity in the electronic and print media including radio and television networks, as required by the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated August 16, 2016, to make it clear that you will not 
  A. Provide authentication and KYC services beyond those permitted by the Supreme Court or 
 
B. Cause or allow any agencies to cause anyone to require registering for an Aadhaar number or 
 
C. Allow anyone to suffer for want of Aadhaar and that Aadhaar number. 
 
We trust you will share your compliance of the orders within 7 days, publish widely your decision to abide by the orders of the Supreme Court and not cause us further suffering or require us to seek other remedies and relief for any continued contempt of the Supreme Court of India and failure to respect the rule of law. 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
CC: 
 
1. Shri Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, 152, South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110011
 
2. Chief Justice of India, ℅ Chief Justice’s Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201
 
3. You can tweet it to the CEO of UIDAI and @ceo_uidai and @UIDAI with #Contempt
 
4. You can send emails to UIDAI’s Chairman UIDAI at chairman@uidai.net.inCEO UIDAI at ceo@uidai.gov.inand OSD to CEO at alok.shukla@uidai.gov.in
 
While there is talk about digitisation, it is better if you can send these complaints through registered post. This will help you get an acknowledgement and you can also file an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to know progress of your complaint. 
 
You can also mark a copy of your complaint to Moneylife mail@moneylife.in
 
Please ask others who face the same scene as you to complain. Do please tweet your complaints with #UIDContempt. 
 
 
Notice to the Governor RBI:
Do use the template below to write to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
 
The Governor,
Reserve Bank of India
Main Building
Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg
Mumbai – 400 001
 
Dear Dr. Urjit Patel,
 
Subject: Contempt of Rule of Law and the orders of the Supreme Court of India
 
The Reserve Bank had resisted the use of Aadhaar for KYC citing international banking practices and highlighting that at best it is a third party identification, not acceptable in banking. The RBI had maintained that the use of the Aadhaar number was in conflict with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Basel Standards for maintaining customer information and its own extant guidelines. We bring to your attention that file records of RBI indicate clearly the use of Aadhaar has been coercive through the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
 
On 23rd September 2013 the Supreme Court ordered that “no person should suffer for not getting the Adhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had  issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily”. On 24th March 2014 the court had reiterated that “no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/circulars/likes so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith”.
 
In its order of 11th August 2015, the court ordered that Aadhaar may not be used for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme, for the distribution of foodgrains, and cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG. This was extended to allow its use for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in its orders of October 15th, 2016. The court also stated that the information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose.
 
In its orders of 15th October 2015 passed by a 5 member bench headed by the then Chief Justice the court emphasised that, “We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other”.
 
On 14th September 2016 in the matter of WP 686 of 2016 the court stayed the operation and implementation of  that or Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they have made submission of Aadhaar mandatory.
 
Furthermore, section 29 and section 8 of the  The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016 prohibit the linkage, retention, storing and publishing of the Aadhaar number.
 
Despite this, in complete contempt of the Supreme Court of India and in blatant disrespect of the rule of law, various banks have been coerced to cause linkage of the Aadhaar to bank accounts.
 
Furthermore, I would like to bring to your attention the following:
 
1. Aadhaar is not a verified or audited database, neither the UIDAI nor any other government authority certify it as a proof of identity, address, resident status or even the existence of any person.
2. The linkage of Aadhaar to mobiles/bank accounts will result in the innocent losing money, reputation and access to justice, dignity and livelihood as their Aadhaar numbers can act as mules for obtain sims, opening bank accounts and facilitate money laundering. Their subsidy and other Aadhaar enabled payments can be easily compromised. Their access to their own bank accounts be denied, or they can be framed for economic offences. Helpless citizens and businesses may also find themselves at the receiving end of covert human rights violations as even their access to money and existence is disabled by deactivation or blocking of Aadhaar leaving no recourse to survival.
3. Linking Aadhaar to mobiles/bank accounts or PAN converts India into the new tax haven for money launderers as it becomes easy to remotely create benami accounts and operate benami transactions while claiming complete legitimacy. This will destroy India’s economy and governance.
4. Financing crime and terrorism will grow uncontrollably as it becomes increasingly difficult to discover, report or close down such operations. This will make it impossible to ensure national security as the rule of law is destroyed.
5. Corruption will increase as it becomes easier when proceeds will not be traceable to the corrupt. It will be increasingly difficult to restore swarajya and impossible to ensure suraiya.
6. Banks will not be able to contain non-performing-assets, fraud and financial misappropriation as the real users of banking services will be untraceable. The economy will be completely out of control as the black and white economies become indistinguishable.
 
We require that you:
 
1. Immediately issue a notification requiring that all banks cease to link Aadhaar to bank accounts.
2. Immediately ensure that all Aadhaar linkage to any bank account is removed and destroyed.
 
We trust you will share your notifications within 7 days, publish widely your decision to ensure banks abide by the orders of the Supreme Court and not cause us further suffering or require us to seek other remedies and relief for any continued contempt of the Supreme Court of India and failure to respect the rule of law. 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
CC: 
 
Chief Justice of India, ℅ Chief Justice’s Conference Secretariat, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 201
 
Tweet to @RBI
 
 
(Dr Anupam Saraph is a renowned expert in governance of complex systems and advises governments and businesses across the world. He can be reached @anupamsaraph.)