Aadhaar dead­line to be March 31

The Hindu - - NEWS -

Gov­ern­ment lawyers in the Supreme Court said the ex­ten­sion to March 31, 2018 in the case of Aadhaar-bank ac­counts link­age may be done in the next few days as this in­volved con­sul­ta­tions with the Re­serve Bank of In­dia.

So far, pri­vate cit­i­zens run the risk of be­ing locked out of ac­cess to their own bank ac­counts if they do not link them with Aadhaar by De­cem­ber 31.

Mr. Venu­gopal ap­prised the Bench, led by Chief Jus­tice of In­dia Di­pak Misra, that the ex­ten­sion, how­ever, does not in­clude link­ing of mo­bile phones with Aadhaar. The dead­line for this is Fe­bru­ary 6, 2018.

He said it would re­quire a judicial or­der from the Supreme Court it­self to ex­tend the dead­line to March 31, 2018.

This is be­cause the gov­ern­ment is com­ply­ing with a Fe­bru­ary 6, 2017 apex court or­der in the Lok Niti Foun­da­tion case to tighten up the ver­i­fi­ca­tion process of mo­bile users through Aadhaar link­age, cit­ing na­tional se­cu­rity.

The Chief Jus­tice in­di­cated that it would be left to the Con­sti­tu­tion Bench to give dates for the fi­nal hear­ing of the Aadhaar pe­ti­tions.

Mr. Di­van has pressed for dates in the first or sec­ond week of Jan­uary 2018, im­me­di­ately af­ter Christ­mas hol­i­days.

He sub­mit­ted that the Cen­tre should give an as­sur­ance that no co­er­cive steps would be taken by the gov­ern­ment or its agen­cies on Aadhaar hold­ers till the SC takes a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the va­lid­ity of the iden­tity scheme. “If that is the case, no­body will pro­duce it (Aadhaar). We have said that those with Aadhaar do not mind pro­duc­ing their Aadhaar,” Mr. Venu­gopal sub­mit­ted.

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