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SC: No need link Aadhaar to mobile, bank account until final judgement

13 March 2018

Aadhaar as an ID has been mandatory by the government for every Indian citizen to avail of various social welfare schemes and government services.

"The government can not insist for mandatory Aadhaar even for issuance of Tatkal passport", the Supreme Court said.

Hearing the petitions, the bench on March 7 had held that Aadhaar was not mandatory for registering or appearing for NEET or any other national examinations and documents like Voter ID, Passport, Driving License, Bank Account book can be used for the objective. However, the deadline for subsidies, benefits will remain March 31. "In the order, the five-judge Constitution Bench reiterated paragraphs 11 to 13 of its previous interim order that had extended the deadline to March 31, 2018, and further extended the deadline until final disposal", legal services organisation Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) said in a statement.

The extension of deadline would also apply on the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with the bank accounts and mobile phone numbers. The court order also extended the deadline for the issuance of passports.

There's no new deadline to connect these services with the 12-digit Aadhaar number.

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But Carlos Conde, Philippines researcher with the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said the petition was "a virtual hit list ". He needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination.

Justice Chandrachud said even if the court reserved its verdict on March 20, the banks and other institution would have only 10 days left, which might be hard.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on March 7 said it may not be possible to decide by March 31 the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act.

However, as reported by PTI, you may still have to provide your Aadhaar to avail of any government services and benefits like LPG and kerosene subsidies, and government scholarships. A judgment in the case, therefore, is unlikely before the end of this month, the report said. The Bench then called the Attorney General for assistance in the issue.

Those who have not linked their Aadhaar number with their bank accounts and mobile SIM cards can now rest easy.

SC: No need link Aadhaar to mobile, bank account until final judgement