Indian court extends March 31 deadline for linking of biometric IDs

Indian court extends March 31 deadline for linking of biometric IDs

Therefore, until the case is resolved, the Supreme Court has ruled that the March 31 deadline - that had been decided in the latter half of previous year - for the linking of Aadhaar to various services like mobile phones, bank accounts and passports has been extended indefinitely until further notice.

The NDA government, led by prime minister Narendra Modi, ordered linking of Aadhaar with services like PAN card, mobile numbers and bank accounts among several others. The new deadline hasn't been announced as the apex court is yet to pass judgement on existing Aadhaar related cases.

The Apex Court had earlier extended the deadline for mandatory linkage of Aadhaar number with all services and schemes including bank accounts and mobile numbers, to March 31, 2018 from the earlier stipulated December 31.

The bench also said that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuance of Tatkal passport. The Supreme Court might probably give a new deadline when it decides on whether the Aadhaar Act is illegal or not.

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The order will not apply to the deadline for subsidies and benefits under Section 7, media reports pointed out.

The senior lawyer rejected the government's contention that since the funds for various Aadhaar-linked welfare schemes would come from the consolidated fund of India (CFI), the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was a money bill.

"The government can not insist for mandatory Aadhaar even for issuance of Tatkal passport".

The government had earlier told the Supreme Court that it may extend the deadline. The Supreme Court made a decision to take this action because of various Constitution Bench rules on a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the Aadhaar Act. The data disclosed with linking the Aadhaar to every service has exhibited a person's full profile comprising of spending habits, friends, and other private information, in public domain. "A banker can not be expected to seek compliance from customers within seven days", Justice Chandrachud addressed Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal during a hearing on March 7.

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