Supreme Court extends deadline for Aadhaar linking

On Tuesday good news came for those who are yet to link their Aadhaar card with various services such as bank accounts and mobile numbers. The Supreme Court in its order on Tuesday extended the deadline to link Aadhaar card with services for an indefinite period. Earlier the apex court had set the deadline of 31st March 2018 for linking Aadhaar card.

The apex court said that the interim order of extending the deadline for indefinite period will remain in force until the five-judge bench gives its order on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar. “The government cannot insist for mandatory Aadhaar even for issuance of Tatkal passport,” the Supreme Court said.

Earlier on 7th March, Chief Justice Deepak Misra had commented that it may not be possible for the bench to give an order on the petitions challenging constitutional validity of Aadhaar before 31st match.

The bench, which also comprised justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, had earlier said that since the matter would have implications on financial institutions like banks and stock exchange, it would create a huge problem of compliance if the deadline was extended at the last moment.

Former Karnataka high court judge Justice KS Puttaswamy had told the apex court on February 22 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.

Earlier, the top court had observed that the alleged defect of citizens’ biometric details under the Aadhaar scheme being collected without any law could be cured by subsequently bringing in a statute.

It had said that the Centre came out with the law in 2016 to negate the objection that it was collecting data since 2009 without any authorisation, but the issue which needed consideration was what would happen if the data collected earlier, had been compromised.

(With inputs from agencies)