Aadhaar deadline to be March 31
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.