In a ruling on Tuesday, the Supreme Court has ordered indefinite extension in the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, and other services. The advocates of Aadhaar opined that linking of UID to mobile phone numbers and bank accounts is in the welfare of the Indian citizens.
Ever since Narendra Modi's government came into effect back in 2014, there's a push towards Aadhaar linking with every service we use in our daily life.
In December a year ago, the top court had extended till 31 March 2018 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes and private services like banking and telecom services.
"The government can not insist on mandatory Aadhaar", said the five-judge Constitution Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.
As Chief Justice Misra said that their interim order stands extended, the Attorney General told the court that the government was prepared to extend the deadline in the last week of March as arguments in the matter would have concluded by then. The earlier deadline which was set on March 31st, has now been cancelled.
The order will not apply to the deadline for subsidies and benefits under Section 7, media reports pointed out. In other words, government schemes where subsidies and benefits are given will have to be linked to Aadhaar by March 31.
The SC has said the government can't insist on linking of Aadhaar with mobile phone, bank account, tatkal passport, etc. However, the benefits, subsidies and services covered under Section 7 of the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 should remain undisturbed. Even though UIDAI states that Aadhaar is a most secured service, time by time, several ethical hackers revealed that Aadhaar is not secured after all. The Supreme Court made a decision to take this action because of various Constitution Bench rules on a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the Aadhaar Act.
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.