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techkenyot.com April 22, 2018


Aadhaar-linking deadline extended, indefinitely

13 March 2018, 06:43 | Glen Norman

Aadhaar-linking deadline extended, indefinitely

Aadhaar deadline extended

Chief Justice Misra remarked that it had enough of such "piecemeal" notifications and legislations issued by the government to link one service or the other.

However, the deadline for linking aadhaar for availing government subsidies, and benefits continues to be March 31.

In December 2017, in a similar interim order, the Supreme Court had extended the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes until March 31, 2018.

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. In other words, government schemes where subsidies and benefits are given will have to be linked to Aadhaar by March 31.

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On March 7, the government had told the Supreme Court that it might extend the deadline as some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing of the Aadhaar case.

'We can not let this state of uncertainty prevail...' Justice Chandrachud, too, had pointed out that 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.

The court also directed that its interim order "shall also control and govern the Passports (1st Amendment) Rules, 2018" which insisted on Aadhaar identification for getting passports under the "Tatkal" scheme.

Data security concerns surrounding the government's Aadhaar project have generated a lot of heated public debate in the past few years.

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Senior lawyer K V Viswanathan, in his argument, attacked various provisions of the Aadhaar Act, saying they were in violation of fundamental rights and impinged upon the privacy of individuals.

This verdict has made it all the more important that the question of whether Aadhaar is constitutional or not be resolved by the five-judge Bench at the earliest, Justice Chandrachud observed.

In its interim order, SC specified that Aadhaar will remain in force till the five-judge bench gives its judgment on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of 12-digit unique identity number.

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