NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended indefinitely the March 31 deadline for mandatory Aadhaar linking with bank accounts and mobile phones. No Need to Link Aadhaar With Mobile Phone, Bank Account Till SC Delivers Verdict on Validity
The Supreme Court said that its interim order on not insisting Aadhaar, except for giving subsidy, will remain in force till the five-judge bench gives its judgment on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.
“The government cannot insist for mandatory Aadhaar linking even for issuance of Tatkal passport,” the Supreme Court said. The government had made it mandatory to link Aadhaar with welfare schemes, as well as essential services like banking and phone, insisting that it was necessary to weed out benami deals and black money. The Centre was also planning to make it mandatory to Aadhar linking with driving licence and voter ID cards, among other things.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on March 7 said it may not be possible to decide by March 31 the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act.
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 Aadhar linking deadline was extended at the last moment.
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.
On December 15 last year, the apex court had extended the deadline for Aadhaar linking with bank accounts and mobile phones to March 31.