UIDAI restores Airtel’s authorisation for Aadhaar-based eKYC

New Delhi: The UIDAI has restored Bharti Airtel’s authorisation to conduct Aadhaar-based verification of its mobile subscribers subject to riders, sources said.

The Unique Identification Authority of India has not lifted the ongoing suspension on Airtel Payments Bank’s eKYC licence, sources privy to the development told PTI here.

The company will have to submit quarterly reports on compliance with Aadhaar Act and adhere to direction issued by the UIDAI time to time, they said.

The decision was taken after the Aadhaar-issuing body noted that the company had complied with “critical issues” and had offered regular status updates to the authority.

Both telco Airtel and Airtel Payments bank came under fire late last year after the Sunil Mittal-led firm allegedly opened payments bank accounts of its mobile subscribers without seeking their “informed consent”, and LPG subsidy worth crores was deposited into these accounts.

In a strong action in December, the government and the UIDAI temporarily barred the company from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers and e-KYC of payments bank clients.

It later allowed Airtel to use Aadhaar for re-verification of its mobile customers for a fixed period, with conditions attached. With this latest move, the UIDAI has conditionally restored the eKYC licence of Bharti Airtel.

The development comes at a time when the deadline for linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar has already been extended indefinitely, till the five-judge constitution bench delivers its judgement on petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and its enabling law.

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