Supreme Court extends Aadhaar linking deadline

Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on 7 March said it may not be possible to decide by 31 March the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act

This deadline of March 31, 2018 to link Aadhaar with mobile number has been extended indefinitely by Supreme Court.

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016 is a money bill of the Parliament of India.

The constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions which have challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling Act.

Well, this isn't the first time that the deadline to link Aadhaar with mobile numbers has been extended.

"The deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes is March 31".

After a long standing back and forth, the apex court has finally ruled an indefinite extension on the deadline for mandatory Aadhaar linking.

The Supreme Court has not extended the deadline for welfare schemes like LPG, MNREGA, and ration card, among others.

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The bench also said that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuance of Tatkal passport.

This effectively means that the order will not apply in cases where subsidies are given by the government.

The apex court also ruled that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuing Tatkal passport, the reports added.

The SC said that its interim order on not insisting Aadhaar, except for giving subsidy, will remain in force till the five-judge bench gives its judgment on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.

A group of petitioners have asked the Supreme Court to declare the government's insistence on Aadhaar disclosure as a violation of the right to privacy.

Today's ruling comes after the court started hearing the matter again on March 6 after a group had approached it in December opposing the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, phone numbers and other services. The court granted this in response to a request made by attorney general K.K. Venugopal. "Notwithstanding judicial scrutiny and government's well-intentioned moves, the banks, particularly those in the PSUs, may find it hard to complete the task of linking Aadhaar with the accounts of all the customers by March 31, 2018", Assocham said in a statement.

It was passed on 11 March 2016 by the Lok Sabha.

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