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Relief as Supreme Court indefinitely extends Aadhaar's mandatory linkage

13 March 2018, 06:41 | Taylor George

Relief as Supreme Court indefinitely extends Aadhaar's mandatory linkage

SC extends deadline to link Aadhaar

The Supreme Court has extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar to banking services, telephone or mobile phone connections till the time it announces a verdict on the issue.

The NDA government, led by prime minister Narendra Modi, ordered linking of Aadhaar with services like PAN card, mobile numbers and bank accounts among several others.

The apex court had, on December 15 previous year, extended the deadline for linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones to March 31.

The constitution bench, which also includes Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan, had on March 7 ruled that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not insist on Aadhaar-only identification for NEET and other all-India examinations.

However, this extension will not apply with respect to schemes covered by Section 7 of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016. The 2017 judgement on privacy was a huge win as it reiterated the fact that the right to privacy is a fundamental right.

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The UPA Government launched Aadhaar, now the world's biggest biometric database, in 2009 to streamline welfare payments and reduce wastage in public spending.

There's a good news for those who were fretting over linking their Aadhaar number with their bank or mobile numbers.

On March 6, the attorney general had indicated to the bench that the Centre was willing to extend the March 31 deadline in view of the likelihood of the hearing getting prolonged.

Aadhaar will be necessary only for social schemes, the top court, which is hearing a bunch of petitions that have challenged the validity of the 12-digit number, reportedly said. Well, that's because the last date to link mobile numbers with Aadhaar is March 31, 2018. Aadhaar is already made a mandate for welfare, pension, employment schemes and passport services (even for renewal). Justice Chandrachud, too, had pointed out that even if the court reserved its verdict on March 20, the banks and other institution would have only 10 days left, which might be hard.



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