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India may deactivate SIM cards not linked to Aadhaar

The Indian government has made it mandatory for citizens to connect their SIM card with Aadhar card before February 2018 in order to prevent the deactivation of their phone number, according to a report by Financial Express.

The move comes a week after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) gave banks until the end of the month to open Aadhaar enrollment centers in 10 percent of branches and will fine Rs 20,000 (US$312) for every uncovered branch after September 30.

The Supreme Court passed the order earlier this week after hearing the Lok Niti Foundation case regarding connecting Aadhaar card with SIM cards.

The Lok Niti Foundation had sought the Supreme Court to intervene in emphasizing the unauthorized use of SIM cards in mobile phones.

Following this latest order, those SIM cards that have not been connected with the Aadhaar cards will be deactivated in an effort to prevent criminals, fraudsters, and terrorists from using SIMs in the name of innocent citizens.

In addition, the Centre has also directed the telecom companies to inform their subscribers about the linking of cell phones to Aadhaar through emails, text messages or advertisements.

The Supreme Court bench comprising of former Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana said the verification of existing pre-paid mobile users, running into the billions, will be achieved within one year.

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