Aadhaar-Linking Of Bank Accounts, Mobiles Phones Extended To March 31

The government had earlier set a deadline of December 31 for Aadhaar-linking. On Wednesday, the government told the court that the deadline can be pushed to the end of March.

Aadhaar Linking Deadline: The previous deadline set by the government was December 31

Highlights

  • Supreme Court order is an interim or temporary one
  • Activists say making Aadhar-linking necessity violates right to privacy
  • Final hearings on validity of program to begin on January 17
New Delhi: The deadline for linking bank accounts, mobile phones and government welfare scheme to Aadhaar or national identity cards is now March 31, the Supreme Court today ordered, accepting the centre's suggestion.

The government had earlier set a deadline of December 31 for Aadhaar-linking. On Wednesday, the government told the court that the deadline can be pushed to the end of March.

The court today also ruled that new bank accounts could be opened without an Aadhaar ID number, but that it has to be furnished by March 31.

The order is an interim or temporary one, which will be in effect till the court decides whether making Aadhaar - a biometric identification programme - mandatory for welfare schemes and financial transactions, like getting a loan or filing taxes, violates the constitutional right to privacy. Final hearings on the constitutional validity of the program are set to begin on January 17.

The top court is hearing a number of petitions that have challenged the validity of the 12-digit Unique Identification Number and the government's move to make it mandatory.

For people who do not have Aadhaar yet, the deadline had been extended to March 31 last week.

For Aadhaar-linking to cellphone Sims, the Centre has left the decision to the Supreme Court. The February 6 deadline has now been pushed to March 31.

Activists assert that making Aadhar-linking a necessity violates the individual's right to privacy, recently recognised by the Supreme Court as a fundamental right. The largescale sharing of biometric data like iris scans and finger printing also leaves room for misuse, they argue.