Mandatory Aadhaar linking: SC reserves order, will pronounce judgment tomorrow

Aadhaar

Aadhaar case: Apex court order tomorrow

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said that the larger bench would sit at 2 PM Thursday to take up the interlocutory applications seeking interim relief against the Centre's decision on linking of Aadhaar with various schemes.

The government has already issued 139 notifications mandating the linking of Unique identification Number with various schemes including MNREGA, old age pension scheme, provident fund and Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana.

Since last few weeks, we all had witnessed the aggressiveness with which banks have been "asking" (or rather ordering?) their customers to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar before December 31st.

The Centre had December 7 told the apex court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes would shortly be extended till March 31 next year.

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"The government went on a notification spree curtailing individual freedom and privacy despite interim orders from the Supreme Court that Aadhaar is voluntary" while continuing to assure the court that it will be a voluntary scheme, he said.

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On a previous date of hearing the government had said that it was ready to extend the deadline to link Aadhaar with essential services to March 31. You have a point that these circulars deprive persons dependant on social welfare.

For accounts opened after 1 June 2017, Aadhaar, Permanent Account Number or PAN will have to be submitted within six months of opening or by 31 March 2018 - the later date will be the deadline.

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Subramanium and other lawyers also said that the Aadhaar legislation can not take away the basis of the apex court orders that the scheme was voluntary.

The petitioners contend that making Aadhaar mandatory violates the Right to Privacy, which has recently been recognized by the Supreme Court as a fundamental right.

The deadline for the linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers is February 6.

They have also objected to the CBSEs alleged move to make Aadhaar mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.

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