Deadline for linking Aadhaar could be extended to March 31 next year

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On Thursday, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it will extend the deadline for compulsory linking of Aadhaar for various services and welfare schemes till March 31 next year. However, the extension will be applicable only to those who do not have the Unique Identification Number yet.

The Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the government will issue notification for the extension by tomorrow. The Centre also said that the deadline for Aadhaar linking to cellphone numbers (Feb 6) won’t be extended as the date has been named by the top court. The petitioners, who had appealed against doing the linking of Aadhaar compulsory, have opposed to the provisional extension of the deadline. The advocate representing the side of the petitioner, Udayaditya Banerjee, said that “Our case is those who have Aadhaar must also be allowed not to link. There are fears that Aadhaar will be misused. We have challenged the Aadhaar scheme itself. We wanted the court to pass interim orders”.

The lawyer added that the interim order is expected next week when the court will hear the case again. Arguing that it violates people’s right to privacy and can be misused, the Supreme Court has been asked by the social activists to stop the Centre from making the linking of Aadhaar compulsory for bank accounts and mobile phone numbers. In the petition of social activists, they also challenge the validity of Aadhaar which contains biometric details like fingerprints and iris scans. Presently, the Aadhaar card number has to be linked to bank accounts, PAN cards, government services and cellphone services.

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