In a major relief to those who still haven't linked their Aadhaar cards with bank accounts and mobile numbers, the Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the deadline from March 31 indefinitely till the final judgement in the controversial case.
Moreover, the court has also said that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuance of Tatkal passports.
The petitioners Justice KS Puttasamy and others argued that Aadhaar Cards could permissibly be utilised only for six schemes as approved by the Constitution bench in earlier orders. At present the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail these benefits is March 31.
Earlier also, on December 15 a year ago, the SC had extended the deadline till March 31 for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various financial services and schemes.
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However, it will be necessary for social schemes, the court ruled.
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" and violated privacy rights.
The apex court also ruled that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuing Tatkal passport, the reports added. "Except for giving subsidy, Aadhaar linking can not be mandated by the government." the Supreme Court said.
The SC bench comprises of chief justice Misra, jutices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. The Bench then called the Attorney General for assistance in the issue.
It is unclear at the moment, however, whether banks or telecom service providers can insist that customers produce evidence of having applied for an Aadhaar number.