SC extends deadline for linking Aadhaar to mobile, bank accounts

Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on 7 March said it may not be possible to decide by 31 March the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act

Moreover, the court has also said that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuance of Tatkal passports.

The five-judge bench also comprising justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, is hearing on day-to-day basis a string of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

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

"Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India submitted that this Court may think of extending the interim order".

The new interim order passed on Tuesday essentially extends the previous one.

The final hearing in the Aadhaar validity case started on January 17, 2018. The date was earlier set to March 31. Many, who supported Aadhaar, were disappointed with the court's indefinite extension.

The Supreme Court has not extended the deadline for welfare schemes like LPG, MNREGA, and ration card, among others.

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The court was told that only those bills meeting the requirements specified under sub-clause (a) to (f) of clause (1) of Article 110, or any matter which is incidental to these sub-clauses, can be introduced as Money Bill.

As per the initial plan, the government wanted to link the citizens' biometric data collected under Aadhaar to everything, ranging from government services like filing income tax, booking train tickets, procuring your passport and banking, to private services like mobile phone numbers, mobile wallets, etc.

Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted that the directives of the Supreme Court are being properly complied with.

In January, Aadhaar was made mandatory not only for the renewal of passport, but also for new passports issued within three days under the tatkaal category - an order that has been challenged by activist Vrinda Grover.

The SCI is now in the process of hearing a clutch of petitions that challenge the validity of the Aadhaar scheme.

The matter will be heard again tomorrow.

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