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Linking Aadhaar number to bank accounts mandatory in applicable cases: RBI

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New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today clarified that linkage of Aadhaar number to bank accounts is mandatory in applicable cases. The central bank’s response came after some media reports quoted a reply to a Right to Information Act application that Aadhaar number linkage with bank accounts is not compulsory.

“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,” the RBI said in a press release.

It also stated that these rules have statutory force and, therefore, banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions.

In June, the government had made Aadhaar mandatory for opening bank accounts as well as for any financial transaction of Rs 50,000 and above. A government notification had stated that existing bank accounts should furnish the Aadhaar number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by December 31, 2017. It added that the account will cease to be operation if the account holder fails to do the same.

Earlier in August, the Supreme Court had ruled that Indian citizens have a fundamental right to privacy. A nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court was unanimous that privacy was part of fundamental rights enshrined under part three of the Constitution. “Privacy is intrinsic to freedom of life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of Constitution,” the court had said.

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