Latest Developments on Aadhaar-Bank Account Linking
The government has amended rules requiring mandatory quoting of the national biometric identifier - Aadhaar - and PAN for certain financial transactions such as opening of a bank account, by keeping the deadline open-ended in place of the current December 31, 2017.
A new rule modifying the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 2002 has been notified to replace the requirement of submitting "the Aadhaar number and Permanent Account Number by December 31, 2017" with "submit the Aadhaar number, and Permanent Account Number or Form No. 60, by such date as may be notified by the Central Government". If the account holder "fails to submit the Aadhaar number and PAN by such date as may be notified by the central government, the said account shall cease to be operational till the time the Aadhaar number and Permanent Account Number is submitted by the client", it said.
The notification by the Department of Revenue in the finance ministry effectively paves the way for extending the deadline for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar for activities such as opening of a bank account.
On December 7, the government extended the deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar by three months to March 31, 2018. Under the PMLA, Aadhaar, PAN and other official documents are required to be obtained by banks and financial institutions from anyone opening a bank account as well as for any financial transaction of Rs 50,000 and above.
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court is expected issue an interim order regarding a bunch of petitions that demand that Aadhaar linking not be made mandatory. Activists have objected against the government order to link Aadhaar with bank and investment accounts and mobile phones, saying it is a breach of the fundamental Right to Privacy.