Indian court extends March 31 deadline for linking of biometric IDs

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 13, 2018

However, as Bar and Bench reports, the court has given its go-ahead to the government to make Aadhaar linkage mandatory for availing services where subsidies are provided under section 7 by the government.

The top court said the government can not insist on providing Aadhaar, even to issue Tatkal passports.

The constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions which have challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling Act. At present the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail these benefits is March 31.

Earlier in March, Centre had told the bench 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.

No need to connect Aadhaar with mobile phones, passport, and bank accounts till the final verdict in the Aadhaar case is pronounced.

Senior Advocate Arvind Datar then informed the Bench that Aadhaar is being made mandatory for linking with passports, which is a clear violation of the Supreme Court's directives.

The world's largest biometric database, India's Aadhaar system holds billions of users' sensitive and confidential details (including iris scans, fingerprints and a unique 12-digit number similar to Social Security Numbers in the US).

The apex court also ruled that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuing Tatkal passport, the reports added. The court order also extended the deadline for the issuance of passports.

"Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India submitted that this Court may think of extending the interim order".

In December 2017, the apex court had also directed the extension of Aadhaar number linking with mobile numbers and bank accounts till March 31, 2018. The designated bank branches should cater to people for Aadhaar enrollment and update, even if they do not have an account with that particular branch.

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