FAQs on Aadhaar
01. Is Aadhaar required for getting a new mobile connection? Is linking Aadhaar with mobile number mandatory?
No. Aadhaar is not mandatory for getting a new mobile connection. As per Section 4 of the Telegraph Act, 1885 (hereinafter referred as “Telegraph Act”), Aadhaar may be used by telecom providers only as a KYC document. Authentication through Aadhaar is a voluntary choice of the person who is seeking the new mobile connection and no person shall be denied any service for not having an Aadhaar number.
02. I enrolled for Aadhaar when I was a minor. Can I opt out of it now as I have turned a major?
Yes. According to Section 3A of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, (hereinafter referred to as “Aadhaar Act, 2016”) any child who has attained the age of eighteen years may, within a period of six months of attaining the eighteen years of age, make an application to the Authority for cancellation of his Aadhaar number to the Unique Identification Authority of India for cancellation of his/her Aadhaar number. The format of the Application is available here.
03. Is Aadhaar mandatory for children under the age of 14 for enrollment in schools?
No. The Supreme Court in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) & Anr. vs Union of India & Ors. (2017) 10 SCC 1 (hereinafter referred to as “Aadhaar Judgment”) has made it clear that no child shall be deprived / denied of their basic rights, such as right for education, for want of Aadhaar. As for the school admissions of children are concerned, requirement of Aadhaar is not compulsory as it is neither a service nor subsidy.
04. Is Aadhaar mandatory for children under the age of 14 for availing social benefits and schemes?
No. The Supreme Court in the Aadhaar Judgment has clarified that the no child shall be denied the benefit of any of these schemes if the child is unable to produce the Aadhaar number and the benefit shall be given by verifying the identity based on other documents. In case Aadhaar is insisted, the then the enrollment would be subject to the consent of parents / guardians.
05. Is Aadhaar mandatory for enrollment in colleges and sitting in competitive entrance exams?
No. The Supreme Court while defining ambit of ‘benefits’ and ‘services’ under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, held that these would cover only those instances where expenditure has been drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India. On that basis, CBSE, NEET, JEE, UGC, among others cannot mandatorily ask for Aadhaar as they are outside the purview of Section 7 and are not backed by any law.
06. Can private companies demand Aadhaar to verify identity?
No. As per Section 11A of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred as “Money Laundering Act”) as amended by the 2019 Aadhaar Amendment makes verification of identity through authentication or offline verification of Aadhaar banking companies, financial institutions, intermediaries or persons carrying on a designated business or profession a voluntary choice of the person.
07. Is linking Aadhaar with bank account mandatory?
No. As per the Rule 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 only those persons who wish to receive any benefit or subsidy under any scheme notified under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act are required to mandatorily submit their Aadhaar number.
08. Is Aadhaar mandatory for filing Income Tax Returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN)?
Yes. The Supreme Court under the Aadhaar Judgment has upheld Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (hereinafter referred to as “Income Tax Act”) under which every citizen who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar must quote either their Aadhaar Number or the Enrollment ID while filing ITR or applying for PAN. The last date to link the Aadhaar and Permanent Account Number (PAN) was 31 March 2022. However, the Ministry of Finance has extending the deadline to 30 March, 2023, subject to subject to payment of late fee. The notification may be found here.
09. Is Aadhaar mandatory for Insurance policies?
No. However, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as “IRDAI”) has recommended allowing insurance companies to avail Aadhaar Authentication Services of the Unique Identification Authority of India. The list of the insurance companies is available here.
10. Is Aadhaar mandatory for Employment Provident Fund?
Yes. Section 142 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 makes it mandatory on the employees or unorganised workers shall establish his/her identity or, as the case may be, the identity of his family members or dependants through Aadhaar number. The Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation has made it mandatory on the members to link Aadhaar with their Universal Account Number (hereinafter referred to as “UAN”) for receiving receipts of contributions through Electronic Challan cum Return (hereinafter referred to as “ECR”) to facilitate withdrawals.
11. Can I delete my Aadhaar data?
No. As of now there is no mechanism to delete Aadhaar data. However, when a minor attains the age of eighteen years, he/she may make an application to the Unique Identification Authority of India for cancellation of his/her Aadhaar number as already mentioned above in Sl No. 2.
12. Is Aadhaar mandatory for Voter-ID?
No. As per the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 the linking of Aadhaar with Voter ID is a voluntary choice of the citizen.
13. Is Aadhaar mandatory for COVID tests?
14. Is Aadhaar mandatory for COVID vaccination?
No. Registration and verification of identity for COVID vaccination is a voluntary choice of the citizen. For registration under the COWIN portal, citizens above 18 years of age may use 9 photo identity documents and citizens between the age of 15-18 years may use 6 photo identity documents. The list of documents is available here.
15. What are the protections against misuse of my Aadhaar data?
A resident can or lock the biometrics to strengthen the security of Aadhaar. Biometric Locking/Unlocking is a service that allows an Aadhaar holder to lock and temporarily unlock their biometrics. This facility aims to strengthen privacy and confidentiality of resident’s biometrics data.
16. Is Aadhaar mandatory for Ayushman Bharat Health Account?
No. Creation of the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (earlier known as health ID) through Aadhaar is a voluntary choice of the citizen.
17. Is collection of Aadhaar by private entities illegal?
No. However, as per Section 40 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, anyone who uses the identity information of an individual apart from authentication purposes shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or, in the case of a company, with a fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or with both.
18. How do I file a complaint against the authority under Aadhaar?
There are multiple ways through which a person can file his/ her grievance. A person can register his/her complaint with the Authority:
by calling 1947;
by mailing their complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org;
by filling the form here;
by posting his/ her complaint to Unique Identification Authority Of India, Government of India Bangla Sahib Rd, Behind Kali Mandir, Gole Market, New Delhi – 110001.
19. Is there a template available that I can use to file my complaints against entities that want me to link my Aadhaar although it is not mandatory as per law?
Yes. SLFC.in has a template for such a purpose. A template for the complaint/ letter can be found here.