The Supreme Court on Friday extended the Aadhaar linking deadline for bank accounts, mobile phones and all government schemes to March 31, 2018.
The SC's observation in the favour of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance comes three days after the government said that the deadline to link the 12-digit Aadhaar card number to any account related proceedings is March 31.
However, the order is a temporary one, and will be effective until the court decides whether making Aadhaar-linking mandatory for welfare schemes and financial transactions, like availing loans or filing taxes, is constitutionally valid.
The apex court is already addressing petitions as to whether the linking of the unique identity cards violates the constitutional right to privacy.
The top court on Thursday said that the final hearing on the petitions challenging the Aadhaar linking will start on January 17 under a five-judge Constitution bench comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
Meanwhile, Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the Centre, has asserted that Aadhaar should be allowed to remain mandatory for those availing new bank accounts.
Though there is no news yet about the extension of the deadline for linking mobile SIM cards with Aadhaar, the date for which has been fixed for February 6, Venugopal has said that this date may be extended too.