The deadline for the Aadhaar-linking of bank accounts, mobile phones and all government schemes will be extended to March 31, the Supreme Court today ruled, accepting the centre’s suggestion.
The order is an interim or temporary one, which will be in effect till the court decides whether making Aadhaar-linking mandatory for welfare schemes and financial transactions, like getting a loan or filing taxes, violates the constitutional right to privacy. The top court will start hearings on that issue on January 17.
The government said on Wednesday that the December 31 deadline for linking every bank account to Aadhaar can be pushed to the end of March.
The Centre on Thursday told the bench, headed by CJI Dipak Misra and comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, that it has extended the deadline for linking “all services” to Aadhaar to March 31, 2018.
The petitioners have challenged government notifications which have the effect of making Aadhaar mandatory. Section 7 says that the Central or State Government “may…require” Aadhaar from persons receiving subsidy, benefit or service for which the expenditure is incurred from, or the receipt therefrom forms part of, the Consolidated Fund of India.
The apex court has fixed January 17, 2018, as the date for the final hearing of the main petitions challenging the Aadhaar Act.