In a big relief, the Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the deadline for linking of various services with Aadhaar till it delivers its judgment on its constitutional validity of the biometrical identification scheme.
Announcing the ruling, the five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said mandatory linking with bank accounts and mobile phones will stand extended 'indefinitely' till the judgement is pronounced.
The top court said the government cannot insist for mandatory Aadhaar till the matter is subjudice. Therefore, the judgment in the case is unlikely before the end of this month.
However, SC said its interim order on not insisting Aadhaar, except for giving services and subsidies under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, will remain in force till its final order.
The government had earlier told the Supreme Court that it might consider extending the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar. The government, had, in November extended the deadline to March 31, 2018 for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar and Permanent Account Number (PAN) for taxpayers.
The five-bench constitution bench is hearing a bunch of petitions related to constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme.
Aadhaar opponents fell that the sensitive biometric data can be misused by the government agencies, others.
Currently, the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail the benefits of various welfare schemes is March 31. That includes as many as 135 schemes (of 35 ministries) including the free cooking gas (LPG), kerosene and fertilizer subsidy and targeted public distribution system (PDS).
Source : Economic Times
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