Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Aadhaar: March 31 deadline for linkage extended indefinitely [Read order]

Aadhaar: March 31 deadline for linkage extended indefinitely [Read order]

Though today's order applies for mobile numbers, tatkal passports, and bank accounts, people still have to connect their Aadhaar numbers with welfare schemes like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Mid-day Meal Scheme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, among others.

In reported interim order the court has said that the government can not insist on mandatory Aadhaar linkages - unless it is for the express goal of subsidies - until the bench finally decides one way or the other.

The petitions filed in the top court contend that making Aadhaar linking mandatory for welfare schemes and financial transactions, like getting a loan or filing taxes, violates the constitutional right to privacy.

In February this year, former Karnataka High Court judge Justice KS Puttaswamy had told the apex court that several deaths had reportedly taken place due to starvation on account of glitches in the Aadhaar-based public distribution system and the court must consider granting them compensation.

In December 2017, the apex court had also directed the extension of Aadhaar number linking with mobile numbers and bank accounts till March 31, 2018.

However, the deadline for subsidies and government programs remains March 31. The Bench then called the Attorney General for assistance in the issue. "We accept the same".

It was submitted that the Rajya Sabha has an important role to play, and by introducing the Bill as a Money Bill, its role was bypassed.

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar then informed the Bench that Aadhaar is being made mandatory for linking with passports, which is a clear violation of the Supreme Court's directives. 'SC extends March 31 deadline for Aadhaar linkages till the constitution bench delivers judgement on the matter, ' PTI reported. He also submitted that Aadhaar is being used only to expedite the process of issuance of a passport.

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