SC extends deadline for linking Aadhaar to mobile, bank accounts

Aadhaar Card

Government's order of mandatory linking Aadhaar card with various services including Bank Accounts, SIM card among others till March 31 was given an extension by Supreme Court on Tuesday indefinitely. "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.

Some petitioners moved the Supreme Court asking to declare government's demands pertaining to linking Aadhar as a violation of right to privacy.

On 15 December, the apex court extended till 31 March the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.

The bench also said that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuance of Tatkal passport.

Section 7 of Aadhaar Act relates to the targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India. 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 includes subsidies or direct benefit transfer schemes of the Ministries or Departments of the Union Government to all state governments, the deadline for which remains March 31.

The court also directed that its interim order "shall also control and govern the Passports (1st Amendment) Rules, 2018" which insisted on Aadhaar identification for getting passports under the "Tatkal" scheme.

India launched Aadhaar in 2009 to restructure welfare payments, said UIDAI.

Recently, a nine-judge constitution bench of the apex court had held that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution.

Another concern expressed by the activists is regarding the weaknesses in the system that have made this database highly vulnerable to data breaches, as several hacks and public leaks have been recorded in the past.

Today's order makes it clear that the 31 March deadline has been stayed until the Supreme Court passes its verdict in the case.

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