Aadhaar card
Supreme Court extends March 31 deadline to link AadhaarIANS

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (March 13) extended the March 31 deadline for Aadhaar linking with bank accounts and mobile number till the Constitution Bench of the apex court delivers its verdict in all cases regarding the validity of the Aadhaar program. 

However, there is no change in the deadline for linking the 12-digit unique identity number for availing government subsidies and benefits under Section 7 of the Constitution.

The interim order is passed by a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. The bench is hearing petitions challenging the validity of the Aadhaar number.

The court observed that Aadhaar is needed only for availing benefits of social schemes for the time being. The extension of the deadline is applicable to services including bank accounts, tatkal passports, and mobile numbers.

Earlier the Centre had made linking of Aadhaar number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) mandatory for bank accounts and mobile numbers. In December 2017, the court had extended the deadline for Aadhaar linkages to March 31. Making Aadhaar linking mandatory for bank accounts and welfare schemes had stirred a controversy with many political parties opposing it. The questions of privacy and safety of Aadhaar data had also been raised before the court.