In the wake of banks threatening their customers with the suspension of accounts for failing to link with Aadhar, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that it "has not issued any instruction so far regarding mandatory liking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts." The central bank revealed the information in response to an RTI application filed by Yogesh Sapkale of news website moneylife.in.
The response indicates that the decision on mandatory linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar comes from the central government alone and not the RBI.
RBI said: "The Government has issued a Gazette Notification GSR 538(E) dated 1 June 2017 regarding Prevention of Money laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, inter-alia,
making furnishing of Aadhaar (for those individuals who are eligible to be enrolled for Aadhaar) and permanent number (PAN) mandatory for opening a bank account. It may be noted that Reserve Bank has not yet issued an instruction in this regard".
Even though the Supreme Court has restricted the usage of Aadhaar to six schemes, the Central government has made it mandatory to link Aadhar for over 50 centrally-sponsored schemes. Legal experts have questioned the validity of the order, which blatantly violates the Supreme Court order on Aadhar.
The moneylife.in article points out that the Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act says giving the Aadhaar number is required for receiving benefits or services for which expenditure comes from Consolidated Fund of
India. But a person who is a bank customer mostly uses his or her own money for the account, and not from the Fund.