What actually happened
- In 2015, the Supreme Court issued an order saying Aadhaar could not be made mandatory until the court settles the fundamental rights challenge one way or the other.
- In 2016, the Aadhaar Act was passed, but it focused on the delivery of subsidies and welfare and so did not cover phone connections.
- In February 2017, the Supreme Court ordered the government to verify and register every SIM card in the country, but it did not require this to be done by linking with Aadhaar.
- Despite this, the government spread the message that the Supreme Court had made linking Aadhaar to your SIM card mandatory, a false claim that was also relayed by major news organisations. Others criticised these false messages, to no avail.
- When asked why the government was forcing people to link their SIM cards to Aadhaar, despite orders from the Supreme Court saying it could not be mandatory, the government repeated this false claim that the Supreme Court had itself ordered the linking.
- That it had already made Aadhaar-SIM linking mandatory, based on what it saw were powers granted in the Telegraph Act and despite the Supreme Court saying Aadhaar cannot be mandatory for any services.
- That the government has been misguiding the people all this while, claiming that it was the Supreme Court that made Aadhaar mandatory, when in fact that was not true.