List of services that need mandatory Aadhaar linking

Last Updated at: Oct 06, 2020
List of services that need mandatory Aadhaar linking in 2019
Now, taxpayers  have time till March 31, 2020, to link the Aadhaar card with a PAN card. This is as per a recent bill passed by  Lok Sabha to amend taxation laws. The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill 2020 will replace the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020, promulgated in March. 


The Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar Act obviated the need to produce an Aadhaar for a number of services. Aadhaar number needs to be linked to one’s income tax records, bank account, insurance policies, investment records such as mutual funds, provident fund, pension accounts and so on.


The Aadhaar card houses a 12-digit number that helps the government identify and distinguish you as an individual. The ID which is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India has become a kind of revolution in the field of social services and has grown exponentially to now include over 120 crore Indians. Due to the benefits, it provides both the government and the people; it has become mandatory to link the Aadhaar card to various services offered by the government and even by private companies. Here’s a look at which services need the Aadhaar to be connected to function and which all work fine without the card.

The SC’s Stand

The Supreme Court had earlier upheld the Aadhaar’s validity and had made it mandatory for certain services to be linked to the Aadhaar such as phone number, sim purchase, and even opening a bank account. The Court also made it clear that the information collected by the government to create the Aadhaar would be treated as sensitive information or data and hence would not be disclosed to anyone unless specifically asked for and therefore no private entity can access this data.

A five-judge Bench that included the likes of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Ashok Bhushan and DY Chandrachud was formed to handle the petitions filed against the Aadhaar. They began proceedings by January and continued to do so for the next 38 days until they announced their judgement in May. In September, this bench also overruled several of the earlier mentioned factors and hence made it unnecessary to have an Aadhaar with respect to gaining admission in educational institutions and even while applying for entrance examinations.

Following an uproar from the public, in February, a bench consisting of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer concluded that as per section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, the Aadhaar would be mandatory for filing IT returns and that it will be necessary to link it to the PAN card. The bench that reiterated the Aadhaar’s importance when it came to IT laws came into play because an appeal had been earlier filed by the Central Government against the Delhi High Court which had allowed two individuals the right to file their IT returns without linking their Aadhaar to their PAN.

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Government Welfare Schemes

All government schemes and subsidies require you to link your Aadhaar card to the application. Doing so makes it a lot easier for the government agencies to keep track of who all can avail these benefits and also makes it more difficult to indulge in illegal activities. Corruption has also gone down considerably since the government has made this compulsory. Most subsidies such as gas cylinder subsidy and even the employment schemes require this linking. Justice AK Sikri stated that since the idea for the Aadhaar came into existence for helping the government dush out benefits to the underprivileged, it would make no sense in making it redundant with regards to availing of schemes and subsidies.  Hence, the bench decided that the card would be essential to avail MGNREGA, PDS and LPG subsidies.

IT Returns

Aadhaar will also continue to be mandatory to file income tax returns as linking the card to the PAN card has been made compulsory a while back. The five-judge Bench announced their verdict in 2018, and in doing so, made it clear that they want to see the constitutional relevance of Aadhaar being upheld. It is also mandatory to generate your EPF UAN number online and is needed to withdraw, transfer or even take up policies as per the EPFO.

PAN Card 

The linking of the Aadhaar card with the PAN was made mandatory as per Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, and March 31st 2019 was declared as the last date to ensure that the linking has taken place. This step ensured that people could not fabricate multiple PAN cards, and hence, a lot of tax avoidance can be avoided.

Not Mandatory services

  • SIM Card

The new verdict ruled out the requirement of linking your Aadhaar to your SIM, and from now on, this identification code will not be necessary to get a new mobile number. Private companies can, therefore, no longer force you to connect your Aadhaar as the Court believed that this would not be in the best interest of the people.

  • Bank accounts 

Banks can no longer force you to link your accounts with the Aadhaar. However, since they are connected to your PAN, in the long run, it does the same effect as having your bank account synced to your Aadhaar.

  • Schools

Earlier schools and other educational institutions used to ask for the linking of Aadhaar with their biodata. The SC has overruled this decision and has decided that it will no longer be mandatory for parents to provide their children’s Aadhaar details at the time of admission. The SC stated, “Aadhaar can’t also be insisted for admission to schools. For the enrolment of children, the consent of parents would be essential”.

  • Competitive Exams

The Supreme Court decided that the CBSE, NEET and UGC bodies cannot make the Aadhaar necessary and hence taking part in competitive exams will no longer require the Aadhaar.

  • Private Companies

The SC denied public companies, corporations, bodies and conglomerates the right to access the Aadhaar details of their clients. This led to the effective removal of Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which enabled such companies to identify their employees by accessing their profiles.

A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.