Aadhaar: Supreme Court Extends Deadline for Linking With Mobile Phone Connections

A visitor gives a thumb impression to withdraw money from his bank account with his Aadhaar card in Hyderabad

A visitor gives a thumb impression to withdraw money from his bank account with his Aadhaar card in Hyderabad

The apex court, which is hearing a slew of petitions on the legitimacy of the Centre's decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for services such as bank accounts and mobile phones, set aside the present deadline until it pronounced judgement.

In February, the Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking an extension of deadline beyond March 31, 2018, for linking the Aadhaar card with a host of services.

The petitioners challenging Aadhaar argue that the scheme, which requires the parting of biometric and personal details, is a coercive step and a stark violation of the ordinary citizen's fundamental right to privacy.

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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.

A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan is now hearing a batch of petition, challenging its validity.

Moreover, the court has also said that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuance of Tatkal passports. However, as reported by PTI, you may still have to provide your Aadhaar to avail of any government services and benefits like LPG and kerosene subsidies, and government scholarships. This would mean that the March 31 deadline will no longer apply.

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The senior lawyer rejected the government's contention that since the funds for various Aadhaar-linked welfare schemes would come from the consolidated fund of India (CFI), the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was a money bill.

Apparently. the confusion will still prevail that is, the scheme which was earlier introduced as a voluntary exercise specially to keep a check on discrepancies in public distribution system for social and other government sponsered benefits and subsidies.

On March 13, matters reached a peak when advocate Vrinda Grover moved the Supreme Court against the linking of tatkal passport service to Aadhaar.

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