New Delhi: The Telecom ministry on Thursday rubbished news reports claiming that mobile phone connections that were issued on the basis of Aadhaar documents will be disconnected. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued a joint statement saying that it is “untrue and imaginary”. Also Read - Facility of Instant PAN Through Aadhaar Based E-KYC Launched

The statement further said that re-verification of KYC details is voluntary after the Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar but the top court order nowhere had directed disconnection of mobile number issued through Aadhaar KYC. Also Read - Have You Lost Your Aadhaar Card in COVID-19 Lockdown? Follow These Simple Steps to Retrieve it

“If anybody wishes to get her/his Aadhaar eKYC replaced by the fresh KYC, she/he may request the service provider for delinking of her/his Aadhaar by submitting fresh OVDs as per earlier DOT Circulars on mobile KYC. But in any case her/his mobile number will not be disconnected,” it said. Also Read - Lockdown 4.0: Aadhaar Services to Resume Soon, Only Address Can be Updated Online

According to News18 report, the statement read, “The Department of Telecom and UIDAI are in a process to bring out a completely hassle-free and digital process for issuing new SIM cards through a mobile App which will be fully compliant of the Supreme Court judgment in Aadhaar Case.”

The government would ensure that telecom customers do not face any disruption in services due to a change in the know-your-customer regime following the court order on Aadhaar use, an official said.

Around 25-30 crore telecom subscribers may be affected due to transition from Aadhaar-based authentication to a court-compliant system but they will not face any service related issues due to documentation, the DoT official stressed.

There are speculations that subscribers enrolled through Aadhaar-based authentication process may have to provide fresh documents to complete their KYC process again as a Supreme Court judgement has restricted use of Aadhaar-based verification by private entities.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had given time till October 15 to telecom operators for complying with the apex court order and asked them to close Aadhaar-based verification for their services.

Telecom operators have approached the DoT with a new e-KYC process as an alternative to Aadhaar-based verification. They have suggested an app-based customer enrolment method in which a photograph of the customer will be clicked by the SIM seller and embedded in the form along with a self-attested copy of any identity and address proof.

Under the proposed mechanism, consumer application form (CAF) has to be embedded with photograph and scanned images for the end to end digital paperless process.

The form under the proposed method will be then stamped by a watermark of the company along with retailer name, the circle where the transaction took place, date and time so that the images cannot be re-used.

Following validation, the app will send consumer application form (CAF) to the system of telecom operator for verification of the form, identity and address proof; and after successful verification, the number assigned to the subscriber will be ready for tele-verification.

As an additional safeguard, the system will also verify that the geotag of customer’s picture and final submission of a request by sale point is not more than 50 metres away.

The telecom operator will generate and send a five digit pin to an alternate number provided by the customer. The number will be activated after the customer completes tele-verification by either entering PIN number sent to him or last 4 digits of identity proof during the call.

The DoT official said that a decision on the proposed method will be taken after a detailed presentation from telecom operators and evaluation by the department.