Aadhaar Mandatory Linking: Supreme Court Extends Deadline to 31 March

Gold Silver Reports – Aadhaar Mandatory Linking: Supreme Court Extends Deadline to 31 March – The Supreme Court on Friday extended deadlines for linking of Aadhaar with mobile services and opening of new bank accounts till 31 March 2018.

Deadlines for linking with existing bank accounts, PAN (permanent account number) cards and welfare schemes was already extended to 31 March by the government.

Non-Aadhaar card holders opening a bank account would have time until 31 March to produce their Aadhaar card before the bank. In the meanwhile, the application number of Aadhaar can be submitted to the bank. 

A Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was passing an order on a batch of petitions seeking interim relief from mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers and other services.

A Constitution bench of five judges—CJI Misra, justices D.Y. Chandrachud, A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan—was constituted on 13 December after repeated attempts by the petitioners for an early hearing on the issue of mandatory Aadhaar linking.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the court that the government was willing to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar with all services to 31 March, with the exception of mobile phones and new bank accounts.

On extending the deadline for linking new bank accounts, the government submitted that new bank accounts were being opened under schemes like the Jan Dhan Yojana and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Aadhaar was being linked only for the purpose of identification.

Shyam Divan, a senior advocate and one of the petitioners, argued that Aadhaar linking was being extended to all areas like availing scholarships, nursery admissions and medical treatment for HIV patients in violation of court orders.

“The government has disregarded the court’s earlier orders that continue to have full sanctity and say that until the apex court takes a final decision on Aadhaar, it cannot be made mandatory for all services,” Divan said. He added that the government should have sought variation of orders limiting mandatory use of Aadhaar.

CJI Misra, however, observed that the court’s earlier orders were passed based on the government’s executive decision, and needed to be tested on anvils of the law, now that the Aadhaar Act is in place.

Read More: New Deadline: Steps to Link PAN with Aadhaar

On 30 October, the apex court referred all Aadhaar cases to a five-judge Constitution bench to be formed by the end of November.

The court had earlier tagged 22 cases to be heard by a smaller bench. The cases challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.

Two new pleas challenging Aadhaar—one by the West Bengal government on the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various schemes and another challenging its mandatory linking with mobile numbers—have also been brought to court.

The court will now begin hearing arguments on the validity of Aadhaar on 10 January. – Neal Bhai Reports

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Neal Bhai has been involved in the Bullion and Metals markets since 1998 – he has experience in many areas of the market from researching to trading and has worked in Delhi, India. Mobile No. - 9899900589 and 9582247600

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