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Supreme Court extends March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar

The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended until further orders the deadline for Aadhaar linkage with bank accounts and all schemes of the Ministries/ Departments of the Central and State governments, except for availing benefits and subsidies.

As a result of this order Aadhaar is not mandatory for various other services.

The earlier time limit was upto March 31.

A five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Kanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan made it clear that its earlier interim order passed on December 15, 2017 extending the time limit would remain in force till judgment was pronounced in the matter.

The Bench has been hearing arguments from January 17 on the validity of linkage of Aadhaar.

Further, the apex court extended the date for the completion of the linkage of Aadhaar and e-KYC process in respect of mobile phone subscribers till judgment is rendered.

When advocate Vrinda Grover brought to the notice of the court that new Rules were issued to make Aadhaar mandatory for Passport under Tatkal scheme, the court said the new rules would not be applicable for passport under Tatkal as any one of the other identity cards could be used till the judgment is rendered.

Senior counsel Arvind P Datar informed the court that. Grover’s passport has been cancelled though it is valid till 2020 as only additional booklet was required. She was to travel to Bangladesh to participate in a conference and in the absence of Aadhaar she cannot get her passport.

Passing interim orders on a batch of petitions questioning the validity of the Aadhaar law, the Bench said, “insofar as new bank accounts are concerned, the Bench extended the deadline till March 31, subject to the submission of the details in regard to the filing of an application for an Aadhaar card and the furnishing of the application number to the account opening bank.”

The court made it clear that the extension of the time limit beyond March 31, 2018 shall apply for Aadhar linkage, besides the schemes of the Ministries/ Departments of the Union government and all state governments in similar terms.

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