SC indefinitely extends March 31 deadline for mandatory Aadhaar

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2018

Now, no agency, including banks and telecom service providers, will be authorized to act against subscribers who don't have Aadhaar linked.

The linkage with Aadhaar need not be done till the Supreme Court delivers its judgment in the matter.

The court has said that mandatory Aadhaar linking with bank accounts and mobile phones will stand extended indefinitely till then.

On December 15 past year, the apex court had set March 31, 2018 as the deadline to link the 12-digit unique number with a range of services.

In an 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 top court, however, said Aadhaar for direct benefit transfers will continue to be mandatory.

Last week, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the Supreme Court that the government was open to extending the deadline. A judgment in the case, therefore, is unlikely before the end of this month. This would mean that the March 31 deadline will no longer apply.

The SC bench comprises of chief justice Misra, jutices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. Justice Chandrachud, too, had pointed out that even if the court reserved its verdict on March 20, the banks and other institution would have only 10 days left, which might be hard. The designated bank branches should cater to people for Aadhaar enrollment and update, even if they do not have an account with that particular branch.

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

It was passed on 11 March 2016 by the Lok Sabha. According to the government, that's 99 per cent of the country's adult population.