The Centre informed Supreme Court on Wednesday, that the mandate of linking Aadhaar to mobile numbers and bank accounts to avail social welfare schemes of government deadline has been extended till March 31, 2018.
“The Centre will not take coercive action against those who do not have Aadhar card and they will not be denied social welfare scheme benefits till March 31, 2018” informed Advocate General K K Venugopal to the Supreme Court.
Earlier, the government mandate of linking of bank accounts to aadhaar card was extended to December 31, 3017.
Recently, the Department of Telecommunications and private Telecom service providers have also notified the mobile-user to link their mobile number to aadhaar card by Feb 6, 2018.
The government has extended the deadline in response to the abundance of PIL filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the circulars by Department of Telecommunication and Reserve Bank of India regarding linking of aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile numbers.
The petitions clearly alleged that mandate of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers, is illegal. They also contended that non-linking of Aadhar with bank accounts would make citizens liable under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The Advocate General informed the court that he will get back with the instructions from Centre on the issue by 30 October 2017.
The Centre decided to come up with the new deadline for linking of aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts because the court is still hearing the matter challenging the validity unique ID mandate.
Recently, the nine-judge constitutional bench of Supreme court ruled that right to privacy is an integral part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The validity of aadhaar in view of right to privacy is yet to be determined by the top court.