1. SEBI simplified the account opening process for investors vide Circular No. CIR/MIRSD/16/2011 dated August 22, 2011. Further, SEBI vide circular MIRSD/SE/Cir-21/2011 dated October 05, 2011 issued guidelines for uniform KYC requirements for investors while opening accounts with any intermediary in the securities market.
2. SEBI vide Circular No. CIR/MIRSD/09/2012 dated August 13, 2012 clarified that after consultation with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Government of India, it was decided that the Aadhaar Letter issued by UIDAI shall be admissible as Proof of Address in addition to its being recognized as Proof of Identity.
3. Subsequently, vide circular No. CIR/MIRSD/09/2013 dated October 08, 2013, SEBI clarified that in consultation with UIDAI and the market participants, it was decided to accept e-KYC service launched by UIDAI also, as a valid process for KYC verification. The information containing relevant client details and photograph made available from UIDAI as a result of the e-KYC process shall be treated as sufficient Proof of identity and Address of the client. Also vide circular No. CIR/MIRSD/29/2016 dated January 22, 2016, SEBI clarified that the usage of Aadhaar card as issued by the UIDAI is voluntary.
4. Hon’ble Supreme Court, in its judgment dated September 26, 2018, had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act as “unconstitutional” which means that no company or private entity can seek Aadhaar identification from clients or investors.
5. The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 was promulgated on March 02, 2019 through which a new Section 11A was inserted in chapter IV of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002. The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019 was notified in the Gazette of India on July 24, 2019.
6. The Department of Revenue (DoR), Ministry of Finance issued a circular dated May 09, 2019 on procedure for processing of applications under section 11A of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”), for use of Aadhaar authentication services by entities other than the Banking companies. In terms of the said circular, if the Central Government is satisfied with the recommendations of the Regulator and Unique Identification Authority of India (“UIDAI”) and reporting entity complies with such standards of privacy and security under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act”), and it is necessary and expedient to do so, it may by notification, permit such entity to carry out authentication of the Aadhaar number of clients using e-KYC authentication facility.
7. The said circular also inter-alia specifies that, applications by the concerned entities under Section 11A of the PMLA for use of Aadhaar authentication services shall be filed before the Regulator, who after scrutiny shall forward the applications to UIDAI along with its recommendation. UIDAI shall scrutinize the applications received and send its recommendation to the Department of Revenue for notification under Section 11A of the PML Act. The Central Government, if satisfied with the recommendations of the Regulator and the UIDAI that the applicant fulfils all conditions under Section 11A, may by notification permit such applicant to perform authentication under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of Section 11A. At any point, after issue of such notification, based on a report of the appropriate Regulator or UIDAI or otherwise, if it is found that the reporting entity no longer fulfils the requirements for performing authentication under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 11A, the Central Government may withdraw the notification after giving an opportunity to the reporting entity.
8. Accordingly, entities in the securities market, as may be notified by the Central Government, shall be allowed to undertake Aadhaar Authentication under section 11A of the PMLA. SEBI Registered intermediaries for reasons such as online on-boarding of clients, customer convenience, increased efficiency and reduced time for client on-boarding would prefer to use Aadhaar based e-KYC facility to complete the KYC of the client.
9. These entities would be registered with UIDAI as KYC user agency (“KUA”) and shall allow all the SEBI registered intermediaries / mutual fund distributors to undertake Aadhaar Authentication of their clients for the purpose of KYC through them.
10. The SEBI registered intermediaries / mutual fund distributors, who want to undertake Aadhaar authentication services through KUAs, shall enter into an agreement with any one KUA and get themselves registered with UIDAI as sub-KUAs. The agreement in this regard shall be as may be prescribed by UIDAI.
11. Upon notification by the Central Government/registration with UIDAI, the KUAs and sub-KUAs shall adopt the following process for Aadhaar e-KYC of investors (resident) in the securities market.
*Please read the detailed notification here: NOTIFICATION
Securities Exchange Board of India
[Notification dt. 05-11-2019]