SC extends deadline for linking Aadhaar to phones, bank accounts

Aadhaar cards
Centre justifies Aadhaar Act in the Supreme Court: Says it a fair and reasonable law

NEW DELHI, March 14, 2018: The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended until further orders the deadline for Aadhaar linkage with bank accounts and all schemes of the ministries/departments of the Central and State governments, except for availing benefits and subsidies. As a result of this order, Aadhaar is not mandatory for various other services. The earlier time limit was upto March 31.

A five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Kanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan made it clear that its earlier interim order passed on December 15, 2017 extending the time limit would remain in force till judgment was pronounced in the matter.

Petitioners have challenged the use of biometrics for authentication and have raised concerns over privacy.

The government has claimed that Aadhaar was being used for better targeting of services and subsidies. While Aadhaar would still be needed for receiving government subsidies, it is not necessary even for tatkal passports. With the earlier deadline, banks had gone into an overdrive, asking customers to submit Aadhaar numbers.

According to the estimates provided by Minister of State Arjun Ram Meghwal to the Lok Sabha, 160 million permanent account numbers (PANs) and 870 million bank accounts have already been linked with Aadhaar. There are 1.2 billion active savings bank accounts in the country. Six days ago, the court had also ruled that Aadhaar was not mandatory for take an entrance examination, including the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary.