Supreme Court indefinitely extends Aadhaar linking deadline

Aadhaar Card

Aadhaar Card

However, Aadhaar will be mandatory for welfare benefits under Article 7 of the Aadhaar Act.

In reported interim order the court has said that the government can not insist on mandatory Aadhaar linkages - unless it is for the express goal of subsidies - until the bench finally decides one way or the other.

The petitioners Justice KS Puttasamy and others argued that Aadhaar Cards could permissibly be utilised only for six schemes as approved by the Constitution bench in earlier orders.

The Centre was also planning to make it mandatory to link Aadhaar with driving license and voter ID cards, among other things.

For many of us March 31 was looming large over our heads - what with us having to link many of our essential services with our Aadhaar.

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

The world's largest biometric database, India's Aadhaar system holds billions of users' sensitive and confidential details (including iris scans, fingerprints and a unique 12-digit number similar to Social Security Numbers in the US).

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The extension for mandatory Aadhaar linking will not apply to availing services and subsidies.

Justice Chandrachud said even if the court reserved its verdict on March 20, 2018, the banks and other institution would have only 10 days left, which might be hard.

The court order also extended this extension to the issuance of passports.

A five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan passed the interim order. The court granted this in response to a request made by attorney general K.K. Venugopal.

Earlier also, on December 15 past year, the SC had extended the deadline till March 31 for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various financial services and schemes. "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.

He proceeded to submit that though the Bill was modified in the Rajya Sabha, the modifications were ignored in the Lok Sabha.

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