Deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank account, mobile extended indefinitely
The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services like banking and mobile, along with welfare schemes until it could rule on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.
The deadline for subsidies and benefits under Section 7 of the Constitution, however, will stay in effect.
The deadline for linking Aadhaar to bank accounts, tatkal passports, mobile phones and other services had been extended to March 31, 2017 from December 31, 2016 last year. However, the Centre had hinted that the same may be extended again.
Earlier today, a five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar, A K Sikri, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan was hearing a bunch of pleas seeking a stay on the government’s decision to make linking of Aadhaar card compulsory to avail welfare schemes and essential services like banking and mobile.
“The government cannot insist for mandatory Aadhaar even for issuance of Tatkal passport,” the Supreme Court said.
The government had earlier stated that making Aadhaar mandatory for bank deposits, obtaining mobile phone and several other utilities would help crackdown on benami deals and black money.
It also had plans to make linking of Aadhaar card with driving license and voter ID cards mandatory.
Further, that every depositor who had not given his Aadhaar number at the time of application for such deposit was to submit his Aadhaar number on or before March 31.
Last year, the government made 12-digit Aadhaar mandatory for availing small savings schemes like post office deposits, PPF, the National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra.
The 12-digit Aadhaar, the world’s biggest biometric database, was launched in 2009 to streamline welfare payments and reduce public spending wastage.
Since its launch, some experts have raised concerns about the privacy and safety of data in addition to potential misuse of data for profiling and surveillance.