The Supreme Court on Tuesday indefinitely extended March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services including bank accounts and mobile numbers.
A five-judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan is currently hearing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and the enabling law.
The bench 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.
The deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile numbers and other services have been extended till the disposal of the case. The extension will also cover the issue of tatkal passports.
The hearing in the matter will resume tomorrow.
On December 15 last year, the apex court had extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.
The Centre had last week indicated that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes run by the government might be further extended beyond March 31.
The Centre said that since some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing in the Aadhaar case, the government may extend the deadline from March 31.
“We have extended the deadline in the past and we will extend the deadline again but we may do it by the end of the month to enable the petitioners in the case to conclude the arguments,” Attorney General K K Venugopal had said.
The bench said, “It is a very valid point raised by the Attorney General and the court would not allow repetitive arguments made by the petitioners’ counsel in the matter.”
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.
(With PTI inputs)