Google India Digital Services Pvt Ltd on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it has no access to the Aadhaar database and does not require any such information for operating its Google Pay (GPay) mobile app. The submission was made in an additional affidavit placed before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan by Google in response to an allegation, in an ongoing public interest litigation, that the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) granted GPay access to the BHIM Aadhaar platform without knowledge of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
“The Respondent 2 (GPay) is entirely unconnected to BHIM AADHAAR which is a separate product.
“It is further submitted that Google Pay does not require user’s Aadhar details, in any manner whatsoever and therefore, neither does it require to access the Aadhaar database nor does it have access to the Aadhaar database,” Google has said in its affidavit.
The allegation, according to Google’s affidavit, was made by financial economist Abhijit Mishra in the rejoinder filed by him in his PIL claiming that GPay was facilitating financial transactions without the requisite authorisation from RBI.
The rejoinder by Mishra was filed in response to the affidavit filed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in his petition.
RBI in its affidavit had contended that GPay was a third party app provider (TPAP) and does not operate any payment systems.
Therefore, its operations are not in violation of the Payment and Settlement System Act of 2007, RBI had said. Google had earlier filed an affidavit in response to the PIL and had stated therein that its GPay app does not require RBI authorisation as it is not a payment system operator (PSO) but a third party application provider.
Mishra, in the petition filed through advocate Payal Bahl, has claimed that GPay was acting as a payments system provider in violation of the Payments and Settlements Act as it has no valid authorisation from the central bank of the country to carry out such functions. The high court listed the matter for further hearing on October 22.