Aadhaar deadline extended, Supreme Court says hold till we decide

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said that its interim order of December 15, 2017, fixing the March deadline, “shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced”.

Written by Ananthakrishnan G | New Delhi | Updated: March 14, 2018 7:44 am
aadhaar, aadhaar deadline extended, aadhaar deadline extended, mobile linking aadhaar, bank account aadhaar linking Aadhaar linking deadline has, in effect, been extended indefinitely.

The Supreme Court Tuesday extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar cards to services, such as bank accounts and mobile phone connections, from March 31 till it decides on petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said that its interim order of December 15, 2017, fixing the March deadline, “shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced”. The bench also includes Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.

Also read | Aadhaar: Supreme Court order echoes Law Ministry’s 2016 views

The court specified that the direction shall also apply to the Tatkal passport scheme for which Aadhaar had been mandated. “It is also directed that the same shall also control and govern the Passports (1st Amendment) Rules, 2018,” the court said. Advocate Vrinda Grover had approached the court, saying that she was asked to furnish the Aadhaar card when she contacted authorities regarding a Tatkal passport. Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, who appeared for Grover, said the March 31 deadline was creating confusion and requested the court to extend it.

Attorney General K K Venugopal said the Centre had no objection to the court extending the deadline. However, he requested that the move should not disturb the disbursement of subsidies under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. The court accepted the plea. Section 7 of the Act states: “…the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government may, for the purpose of establishing identity of an individual as a condition for receipt of a subsidy, benefit or service for which the expenditure is incurred from, or the receipt therefrom forms part of, the Consolidated Fund of India, require that such individual undergo authentication, or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or in the case of an individual to whom no Aadhaar number has been assigned, such individual makes an application for enrolment: Provided that if an Aadhaar number is not assigned to an individual, the individual shall be offered alternate and viable means of identification for delivery of the subsidy, benefit or service.”

Venugopal said the Centre had already submitted that it was prepared for the extension when the deadline ends by March-end.

Tuesday’s order also made it clear that the guidelines contained in the December order, allowing those who did not have Aadhaar cards yet to furnish the number of their Aadhaar applications for opening bank accounts, will continue to operate.

The interim order had stated that the extension would cover “the schemes of the Ministries/Departments of the Union government to all state governments in similar terms”. This will also remain in force.

Earlier, appearing for some of the petitioners, Senior Advocate and former union minister P Chidambaram contended that the government had introduced the Aadhaar Bill as a money Bill. Certain provisions of the Bill “clearly shows it was beyond a money Bill and if it was beyond a money Bill, it was a financial Bill,” he told the bench.

“It was not a money Bill when introduced and considered,” said Chidambaram. “It is a dangerous precedent. It has taken away the right of the Rajya Sabha to discuss and suggest amendments,” he argued.

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  1. J
    Mar 14, 2018 at 9:47 am
    Indian Sepoys and "Gunga-Dins" are trying to convince us to give up more of our liberties and freedoms. "If you have done nothing wrong , why not put on these shackles" - they tell us . A thousand years of subjugation to foreigners , brutal feudal lords "princely states", has conditioned the vast majority of Indians to behave like peasants Or domesticated animals. Freedom and LIBERTY are abstract concepts and were never natural states of being for Indians throughout history . Unquestioned subservience has always been the default state of being for the average Bhakt and he will gladly submit to be put on an electronic leash and sacrifice his liberty for the false promises of Equality and Security .
    1. Gopalasamudram Sivaramakumar
      Mar 14, 2018 at 8:20 am
      Goal of most of the people whether congress, communists, legal, or media is only one thing. Any progressive measure which'd reduce corruption should be stopped. AadhAr is one such scheme.The goal of most of us is to make the country except for a few!!!!
      1. O
        Mar 14, 2018 at 8:10 am
        Another news item today in IE says that Yavatmal Collector found a bunch of old Aadhar Cards dumped in a well there he may not highlight this issue to the SC Bench cur ly dealing with Aadhar cards question marks the SC can itself perhaps take suo moto notice of this. Some Disgruntled temporary postal staff exist in all the states they cant refuse to take the addl. Aadhar cards s so some dump them elsewhere as they like . UIDAI paid crores of Rs. to Postal Dept. for speedposting the Aadhar Cards a few years back for some years now they are sending the same through ordinary post. In another metro city, the area Police Station people noticed sometime back a big bunch of Aadhar Cards dumped roadside they collected the same and brought it to the public notice via the print electronic media then. .Finger prints of aged people, dont match during Aadhar Cards verification process. Should they be deprived of some services? Solution?
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          Mar 14, 2018 at 5:18 am
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          1. Socrates Santos
            Mar 14, 2018 at 2:57 am
            Arguments against the Aadhar linking program are compelling. A card with a lot of personal information with high-tech security features loses its purpose if one has to link their mobile numbers with that card because then even the mobile-wallah knows your details. In countries like the US the aadhar-equivalent card (SSN) does not even have a photo, has no biometrics or finger prints and thus has only a limited use - mainly in financial insti_tutions, credit cards, employment authorization and getting governmental benefits. For IDs in all other services, there is Driving License (or a government ID card for those who do not drive). However, DL system in India is so pathetically corrupt that DL is not an option as reliable ID. I think instead of focussing on linking aadhar with all and sundry services, government should focus on ways to eliminating corruption in government offices and strengthen Driver License (or government ID card) system to be foolproof.
            1. Johnny Sack
              Mar 14, 2018 at 5:23 am
              dude u speak as if we live in an ideal world. u say " instead of focusing on linking aadhar with all and sundry services, government should focus on ways to eliminating corruption in government offices"BUT aadhar IS the step taken by the govt to eliminate corruption. u speak like a preacher.is "elimination corruption" something we need to reiterate everyday? its akin to saying govt should eliminate poverty, improve health and education etc. we all know it should be done but how to do it?.
              1. Gopalasamudram Sivaramakumar
                Mar 14, 2018 at 8:21 am
                Intellectuals like you will not allow any positive step for reducing corruption!!!
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