The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Monday asked telecom operators to submit a plan to stop the use of Aadhaar for authentication of subscribers.
The Supreme Court last week, while upholding the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act, disallowed private entities from possessing the Aadhaar details of customers.
In a letter to the telecom companies, UIDAI said: "TSPs (telecom service providers) are hereby directed to submit by l5th October an action plan/exit plan to the Authority for closure of use of Aadhaar based authentication systems.
"If the Authority does not receive any communication to this effect within the stipulated timeline, the authentication services shall be terminated without any further notice."
The letter accessed by IANS also asked the operators to delink Aadhaar from mobile numbers when sought by any subscriber and perform KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures afresh using the list of documents approved by the Department of Telecom (DoT).
"All TSPSs shall immediately notify their customers the facility of delinking their Aadhaar number and UID Token from their database and establish a system to accept and process such requests for delinking," it said.
Commenting on the development, Cellular Operators' Authority of India Director General Rajan Mathews said the industry body would talk to the DoT soon to discuss the modalities.
"Once we determine what the order means, then we will obviously work with the DoT, whether the timeframe is feasible or not," he said.
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Aadhaar, but read down certain sections of the Aadhaar Act. While it ruled that Aadhaar is mandatory for filing income tax returns, linking it to bank accounts and mobile numbers is now not necessary.
The Supreme Court also ruled that providing Aadhaar details for school admissions will not be mandatory. It is also no longer mandatory for entrance exams such as CBSE, NEET and UGC.