Mandatory To Link Aadhaar With Bank Account: RBI Clarifies
The Reserve Bank of India, on Saturday, clarified that linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts is mandatory.
A Press Release issued by the RBI states:
“Some news items have appeared in a section of the media quoting a reply to a Right to Information Act application that Aadhaar number linkage with bank accounts is not mandatory.
The Reserve Bank clarifies that, in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 published in the Official Gazette on June 1, 2017.”
Further, the release states, in unequivocal terms, the necessity for banks to implement the Rules, “without awaiting further instructions.”
The Government had, in June this year, made it mandatory for consumers to link their bank accounts with their Aadhaar cards. As per the notification, Existing bank account holders need to furnish the Aadhaar number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by December 31, 2017, failing which the account will cease to be operational.
The clarification seems to have been issued in response to news reports following an RTI response issued to Moneylife.in, wherein RBI had reportedly said that it “has not issued any instruction so far regarding mandatory linking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts”.
Recently a petition has been filed in Supreme Court challenging the mandatory rule to link Bank account and mobile number to Aadhaar number.
“The present petition challenges Rule 2(b) of the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 which seeks to amend Rule 9 of the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 (‘PMLA Rules’) which have been issued under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act 2005 (hereinafter, “PMLAAct”)” said the petition filed through Advocate-On-Record Vipin Nair
By virtue of the Impugned Provision, submission of an Aadhaar Number has been made mandatory for individual clients, companies, partnership firms and trusts for opening of bank accounts; maintaining existing bank accounts; making any financial transactions of and above Rs. 50,000; and crediting foreign remittance into ‘small accounts’. Existing bank account holders have been directed to furnish Aadhaar Numbers before 31st December 2017. Non-compliance with the Impugned Provision will render the concerned bank accounts in-operational indefinitely, subject to submission of the Aadhaar Number and the Permanent Account Number.
The petition further seeks to challenge the Circular dated 23.03.2017 issued by the Department of Telecommunication wherein it has been made mandatory for all mobile phone holders to link their mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar