Deadline for Aadhaar linking extended to March 31, 2018 by SC

NEW DELHI: Deadline for the linking of Aadhaar was today extended to March 31, 2018 by the Supreme Court. The Centre had earlier offered to extend the deadline from December 31, 2017.

The Supreme Court is hearing a host of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. Yesterday, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the final hearing on the petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme itself would commence from January 17 next year.

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Attorney General K K Venugopal, representing the Centre, said the government was willing to extend the deadline up to March 31 next year for mandatory linking of the national biometric identifier to avail the benefit of various services and welfare measures. Venugopal, however, told the bench, that Aadhaar should be allowed to remain mandatory for the opening of new bank accounts.

The government yesterday issued a notification to extend until March 31 the deadline for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar and Permanent Account Number, or PAN, for bank accounts and certain financial transactions. There is no word yet on extending the February 6, 2018, deadline for linking mobile SIM cards with Aadhaar.

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On the issue of linking of Aadhaar with mobile services, the Attorney General said that the deadline of February 6 next year was fixed in pursuance of an apex court direction and the constitution bench may consider extending this deadline also.