With the Supreme Court on September 26 upholding the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the 12-digit identity card would continue to act as a legal proof of identity and address for over 1.2 billion holders. However, since the top court has scrapped certain key provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, in order to protect privacy and data breach, the biometric identity would not be mandatory to avail of several services. Private entities such as telecom operators, banks, educational institutes and other players can no longer ask you to provide Aadhaar card details to issue SIM cards, create banks accounts, give admissions in schools or to pay off salary or pension.
Aadhaar would, however, remain crucial for carrying out property transactions, albeit in a round-about manner.
In Maharashtra, for instance, homebuyers who would use their Aadhaar Card for property registration would not have to produce two witnesses to carry out the transaction. Those who appear at the sub-registrar’s office without the Aadhaar Card would, however, have to come along with two witnesses.
Also, while banks cannot ask you to provide your Aadhaar card to issue you loans, they would certainly ask for your PAN (Permanent Account Number) card and income tax returns (ITR). For filing income tax returns, Aadhaar Card is mandatory. If you are applying for a PAN card, the same is true. The banks would invariably have access to your Aadhaar details, anyhow.
Also, the top court has made Aadhaar mandatory for availing of facilities of the Centre-sponsored welfare schemes. This would mean that if you are applying for a home loan under the Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Aadhaar would be a must to avail of the benefits under the scheme.
Use of Aadhaar is not mandatory to register property so far. Chances of it being mandatory in property registration are bleak since land is a state matter and a Central law cannot be binding on states. Some states have, however, initiated the process of linking property registration with Aadhaar.