Soon after the Supreme Court’s Aadhaar verdict that prohibited the use of the 12-digit biometrics identity number for private organisations, people have been wondering about delinking of Aadhaar from SIM cards. So here’s the thing, telecom operators will NOT disconnect your SIM card if Aadhaar is the only proof provided by you for KYC, but you will need a re-verification.
Certain media houses reported that crores of SIM card holders might face disconnection if their SIM cards are not backed up by identity documents other than Aadhaar. Responding to which, the government stated that the disconnection concerns are “completely untrue and imaginary”, but they will not push re-verification process either. Which means, if your SIM cards are not backed up by alternative valid identity proofs and documents, and all you have submitted is Aadhaar cards as the part of Know Your Customer (KYC) verification process – then your SIM will continue functioning, but it will remain connected, but might face disconnection soon.
Re-verification will be done only if any customer requests to disconnect his/her Aadhaar and replace it with any alternate identity or address proof that has been prescribed by the Department of Telecom (DoT). The stats show that 50 crore telecom customers across India have used only Aadhaar for KYC verification, and they will all need re-verify their identity. The re-verification is important considering the SC order that disallows private organisations to hold Aadhaar details, even voluntarily provided by the customer is illegal.
Also, the SC verdict says that all data related to Aadhaar must be deleted within defined timeframe – which is supposedly 6 months or so. However, the joint statement by DoT and UIDAI also said that the directions provided by SC applied only to UIDAI and not to telecom operators as the court “has not asked to delete all the eKYC data of telecom customers after six months”. Since there is no clear directive from any government body or telcos, it is advisable to get your SIM cards re-verified using alternative id proofs to avoid any inconvenience.