Supreme court today extended indefinitely its March 31 deadline for linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar.
It is said that the government may continue to seek the 12-digit national biometric identifier number of beneficiaries for transfer of benefits of schemes funded from the consolidated fund of India.
“We direct that the interim order passed on December 15, 2017, shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, giving relief to lakhs of people who have not yet linked their bank accounts and mobile phones with Aadhaar.
Furthermore, Aadhaar will not be mandatory for obtaining Tatkal passports too.
During the hearing, the court was requested that the extension of the deadline should not disturb the benefits, subsidies, and services covered under Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
The provision also says those who have neither the Aadhaar card nor its enrolment number, can still avail the benefits, and that they would be offered an alternative and viable means of identification for delivery of the subsidy, benefit or service.
P Chidambaram, Senior Congress Leader and advocate told the bench that Aadhaar Bill was wrongly termed as a Money Bill by Lok Sabha Speaker to bypass the Rajya Sabha. He referred to various schemes like the MGNREGA and the Food Security Act the money for which also came from the consolidated fund of India, but the bills for their passage were not categorized as Money Bill.
On March 6, it had indicated to the bench that the Centre was willing to extend the March 31 deadline in view of the likelihood of the hearing getting prolonged.
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