The Supreme Court extended till March 31, 2018 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes of all ministries and departments of the Centre, states and union territories.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed with the submission of Attorney General K K Venugopal that as far as linking Aadhaar with existing bank accounts was concerned, the process can be completed by March 31.
About the new bank accounts, it said the last date for completing the process of Aadhaar linking may be also extended and people desirous of opening new accounts will have to produce proof to the bank that he or she has applied for the card.
The order said the earlier apex court verdict, upholding the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and filing of tax returns, will remain in force.
Recently, a nine-judge constitution bench of the apex court had held that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar have claimed it violated privacy rights.
Some petitioners in the top court have termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as “illegal and unconstitutional”.