The Supreme Court says that the government can not insist on providing Aadhaar, even to issue Tatkal passports. The top court is hearing petitions challenging Constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act.
A group of petitioners have asked the Supreme Court to declare the government's insistence on Aadhaar disclosure as a violation of the right to privacy.
The current deadline for linking of bank accounts, mobile phone connections, and other services with Aadhaar was March 31 and this had been extended by the apex court on December 15 a year ago.
The earlier deadline for linking the Aadhar was Mar 31. The Bench then called the Attorney General for assistance in the issue. The bench, which also comprised justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, had earlier said that since the matter would have implications on financial institutions, like banks and stock exchange, it would create a huge problem of compliance if the deadline was extended at the last moment. However, the deadline for subsidies, benefits will remain March 31.
As of March 2017, India issued 1.14 billion Aadhaar cards, covering 85 per cent of the population, as per the State of Aadhaar Report 2016-17. A Money Bill, unlike any other bill, can be passed by the Lok Sabha alone.
In wake of the March-31 deadline, banks, and mobile service providers have been repeatedly calling and messaging customers to link the 12-digit Aadhaar number to avail the uninterrupted services.
Senior Advocate Arvind Datar then informed the Bench that Aadhaar is being made mandatory for linking with passports, which is a clear violation of the Supreme Court's directives. He proceeded to submit that other ID's such as the voter ID, Electricity bills etc. are being taken into consideration.
The SC has indefinitely extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various schemes till it pronounces its verdict on the ongoing case.
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