In a big relief to a lot of people in the country,the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the linking of Aadhaar cards with bank accounts and mobile phones will not be mandatory until the apex court delivers the final judgment.
The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said that the government cannot insist for mandatory Aadhaar.The top court has been hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the validity of the Unique Identification number. The order indefinitely extends the deadline of March 31 to link the 12-digit Unique Identification number.
However Aadhar will be a social scheme according to the top court said.On December 15, 2017, the apex court had extended till March 31, 2018, the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.Earlier senior advocate Shyam Divan, who had led the arguments challenging Aadhaar and its enabling Act, said that the deadline of March 31 be extended as it was highly unlikely that the hearing in the case challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act will be concluded.
“The deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes is March 31. This will have all India ramification as various institution would have to adjust themselves accordingly,” Divan had said.
Justice Chandrachud said even if the court reserved its verdict on March 20, 2018, the banks and other institution would have only 10 days left, which might be difficult.The bench then called the Attorney General for assistance in the issue.
, Venugopal appeared before the bench and made the statement about the possibility of extension of the deadline.Senior advocate Arvind Datar, who argued against the Aadhaar scheme, said it violated the fundamental rights of citizens.
In February this year, former Karnataka High Court judge Justice KS Puttaswamy had told the apex court that several deaths had reportedly taken place due to starvation on account of glitches in the Aadhaar-based public distribution system and the court must consider granting them compensation.