The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: Centre must order telecom companies to stop pushing for Aadhaar verification

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: Phone home

On August 24, a nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous verdict declaring that every citizen had a fundamental right to privacy. The question of whether Indians had such a right emanated from a batch of petitions questioning the validity of Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometrically linked identification number that the government wants every citizen to have. After the privacy judgment, this question will now be tested before a five-judge bench in the coming months.

However, the fact that the very validity of Aadhaar is still under judicial scrutiny seems to have had little effect on telecom companies, many of which are pressing ahead to link their mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar. Many customers have noted that they are being sent frequent messages – sometimes up to three a day – asking them to complete this linkage as soon as possible as the Centre has fixed a deadline of February 6, 2018, to get this done. “Hi, as per government order your mobile number should be linked with Aadhaar,” reads a message from one of the telecom companies. “Kindly refer to 11th September newspapers.”

The companies are citing a March 6 Department of Telecom circular to push this process. The circular in turn refers to an order delivered by the Supreme Court on February 6 in a public interest litigation that sought a thorough customer verification process to ensure that mobile numbers are not misused for illegal activities, including terrorism.

However, the notification citing the Supreme Court directions seems to be a case of obfuscation on part of the Centre. As it turns out, the court order did not make such linking mandatory. A reading of the order will make it clear that the Supreme Court merely recorded the Aadhaar linkage proposed by the Union government and hoped it would fulfil its assurance of completing the linkage within a year of its undertaking before the bench.

But the Centre in subsequent orders has converted a mere observation of the Supreme Court in taking on record the submissions of the government into a judicial direction. In fact, nowhere during the proceedings did the court propose Aadhaar linking as the ideal way to combat fake mobile customers.

As this Livelaw article points out, it was curious that during the proceedings, neither the petitioner nor the attorney general informed the two-judge bench that a five-judge bench had already reiterated the court’s position that Aadhaar could not be made mandatory for any service till its validity is adjudicated upon. Six months later in August, the court delivered the verdict assuring citizens the right to privacy. This has completely changed the jurisprudence that existed in February. Pushing Aadhaar at this point could only be considered an act of not only undermining Supreme Court orders but also a fundamental right.

It would be difficult to blame the telecom companies for sending out such text messages asking customers to link Aadhaar with phone numbers. The companies act on directives issued by the telecom department and cannot be expected to engage in interpreting court directives. The onus is on the Centre toask the companies to not go ahead with the process till the Supreme Court finally decides on the validity of the unique identification number.

The Big Scroll

  • Sruthisagar Yamunan on what the privacy verdict means for Aadhaar. 

Subscribe to “The Daily Fix” by either downloading Scroll’s Android app or opting for it to be delivered to your mailbox. For the rest of the day’s headlines Doclick here.

If you have any concerns about our coverage of particular issues, please write to the Readers’ Editor at


  1. Parnal Chirmuley in The Indian Express want affordable higher education to become a fundamental right. 
  2. G Sampath in The Hindu tries to answer a crucial question with regards to the 2019 Lok Sabha election: What should be the Opposition strategy to pose a credible challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party? Should elections be turned into a referendum on party leadership?  
  3. Can Rahul Gandhi’s Berkeley vigour carry him through to Bareilly? Sidharth Bhatia in the Hindustan Times analyses Gandhi’s new strategy. 


Don’t miss

Girish Sahane writes on how attempts by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to build a new capital have become a train wreck.

“By May 2016, Naidu and his advisors had cooled to Fumihiko Maki’s concept. They wanted a more Indian feel. Indian architects were invitedto propose designs for the main buildings, without considering that these might not cohere with the overall plan. Maki & Associates were taken aback, but, as narrated in a scathing letter sent to India’s Council of Architecture and signed by Fumihiko Maki, the firm agreed to taking an Indian collaborator on board. It chose an associate, only to be commanded to work with Hafeez Contractor, though his proposal had apparently been placed last among the Indian entries in the official report, which has not been made public.”

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.