The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it will verify the details of all mobile subscribers within a year, and use Aadhaar cards to establish the information, within a year. The new rule mainly applies to those using pre-paid mobile connections – they make up more than 90% of subscribers.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said users will have to fill up a form under the Know Your Customer scheme when they recharge their phones, reported Mint. He added that since 87% of people have Aadhaar cards, these will be used for verification, a fact the court did not dispute even though it has previously maintained that Aadhaar cards are not mandatory.

The court was hearing a petition filed by non-profit group Lokniti Foundation, which had sought stricter checks on people obtaining mobile phone numbers, so as to prevent misuse and possible crime.

The Centre has been linking Aadhaar to various government schemes, including Employees’ Provident Fund benefits. The government may also soon replace all card transactions with just the 12-digit Aadhaar number.

On September 14, 2016, in an interim order, the Supreme Court had reiterated its earlier verdict that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory while matter is still pending before its constitutional bench.