Aadhaar linking: Supreme Court indefinitely extends March 31 deadline for Aadhaar linkage

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Aadhaar linking deadline extended indefinitely till Supreme Court delivers order

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the March 31 deadline is extended till the five-judge constitution bench delivers its judgment on petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and the enabling law.

In February, the Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking an extension of deadline beyond March 31, 2018, for linking the Aadhaar card with a host of services.

Aadhaar is a unique identification provided in form of a twelve-digit number which is based on the biometric and demographic data of a person.

The apex court also ruled that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for issuing Tatkal passport, the reports added.

Today's ruling comes after the court started hearing the matter again on March 6 after a group had approached it in December opposing the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, phone numbers and other services.

In an interim order, the court has said that the government can not insist on mandatory Aadhaar linkages - unless it is for the express objective of subsidies - until the bench finally decides one way or the other.

On March 7, the government had told the Supreme Court that it might extend the deadline as some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing of the Aadhaar case.

However, this extension will not apply for availing services and subsidies, pension and employment schemes. He also submitted that Aadhaar is being used only to expedite the process of issuance of a passport.

Another concern expressed by the activists is regarding the weaknesses in the system that have made this database highly vulnerable to data breaches, as several hacks and public leaks have been recorded in the past. This decision was challenged by certain petitioners, who insist that the Aadhaar Act is illegal, and is a violation of a citizen's now fundamental Right To Privacy.

There's a good news for those who were fretting over linking their Aadhaar number with their bank or mobile numbers.

Having said that, even if the deadline to link Aadhaar with mobile numbers has been extended, we suggest you link your Aadhaar with your mobile number at the earliest before some new rules kick in.

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