A PIL has been filed before the Telangana High Court challenging the Advertisement dated January 26 issued by the State Bank of India, asking its customers to produce the "Letter issued by National Population Register" by February 28, 2020 as part of the KYC compliance, failing which the bank will freeze their accounts.
The impugned advertisement published in the Sunday Times of India, Hyderabad, seeks the production of a number of documents viz. Aadhaar Card, Voter ID, Driving License, etc. as part of KYC Compliance, including the letter issued by NPR.
Advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, the Petitioner contends that it is practically impossible to produce the Letter from NPR as the process to update the population register is yet to commence. He informed the court that the government has announced to update the Population Register between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 and presently, no authority has the power to issue a letter from NPR. Thus, it is argued that the advertisement issued by the SBI is unconstitutional.
"the respondent no. 6 [General and Census Commissioner of India] has issued Notification …which on perusal of the said notification it states that in pursuance of sub-rule (4) of rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, that the Central Government decides to prepare and update the Population Register and carry out enumeration throughout the country for collection of information relating to all persons residing within the jurisdiction of Local Reglstrar to be undertaken between 01,04,2020 to 30.09.2020, when such is the factuality and what it can be gathered is that updation of the Population Register is yet to be commenced and as on date no authority either at the State Level or respondent no. 6 by itself are empowered to issue any Letter by National Population Register to the Citizens and in such eventuality, the respondent no. 5 [SBI] through its advertisement have got no right or authority to seek production of Letter issued by National Population Register as one of the document to be produced for fulfillment of KYC compliance. The same is unwarranted and unconstitutional," he submitted.
The Petitioner also informed the court that the bank was in receipt of his representation regarding this issue and therefore was well aware of the anomalous situation created by the advertisement but, it had not responded till date.
Consequently, he has prayed that the condition of producing letter from NPR imposed by the impugned advertisement be set aside. In the interim, he has sought suspension/ stay of the said condition.
The case will be heard tomorrow, i.e. February 26, by the Chief Justice Bench.
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