No March 31 deadline, mandatory Aadhaar linking postponed till SC's final verdict

Aadhaar

No March 31 deadline, mandatory Aadhaar linking postponed till SC's final verdict

The extension will be applicable for all schemes and services except in cases where subsidy is to be claimed from the schemes covered by Section 7 of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

This order will come as an embarrassing blow for the government, which had given directions to banks and telecom operators to ensure linking of Aadhaar to crores of subscribers.

The apex court which had earlier on December 15, 2017, extended the deadline till March 31 has now extended this deadline indefinitely. The top court, however, said that the indefinite extension did not apply to those available government schemes.

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In reported interim order the court has said that the government can not insist on mandatory Aadhaar linkages - unless it is for the express objective of subsidies - until the bench finally decides one way or the other. If you are one of the beneficiaries, connect it with the Aadhaar number before March 31.

The five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan said there will be no deadline issued until the judgment on linking Aadhaar is pronounced.

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Recently, the industry body Assocham had also urged the government to relax the deadline for seeding bank accounts, especially the public sector banks.

It is unclear at the moment, however, whether banks or telecom service providers can insist that customers produce evidence of having applied for an Aadhaar number.

As a result of this order Aadhaar is not mandatory for various other services. According to the government, that's 99 per cent of the country's adult population.

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