Social activists asked the Supreme Court for stopping the Centre from making the Aadhaar linking mandatory for; bank accounts and mobile phone number, by saying that it violates the people’s right to privacy.
Aadhaar Linking-Extended Deadline
The center informed the Supreme Court today that, it was willing to extend the deadline until 31st March 2018 but; it will be mandatory for availing various services and welfare schemes. A constitution bench will set up next week to hear the interim pleas; seeking a stay on Centre’s move to link Aadhaar with various government schemes and services. Attorney General KK Venugopal said that; the last date for linking Aadhaar to mobile services would remain 6th February 2018; in pursuance of a judicial order. They cannot extend it anymore.
The A-G also informed the court that a Data Protection Committee; led by Justice Shri Krishna would submit its final report to the government by February 2018.
However, the government may apply for the extension only to those, who do not have the Aadhaar number yet. Arguments in this regard are inconclusive and so are likely to come up during the hearing next week. Currently, a nine-judge constitution bench of the apex court had held that right to privacy was a fundamental right under the constitution.
Also, several petitioners challenged the validity of Aadhaar by claiming that, it violated the privacy rights. Some petitioners in the court have termed the linking of the UIDAI number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as illegal and unconstitutional.
Attorney General had told the court that, the government will not take any coercive action against the people; who do not hold the Aadhaar card but are willing to enroll for the same. Such people will not be denied of the benefits of social welfare schemes till 31st March 2018. Currently, Aadhaar number has to be added to the bank accounts, mutual funds folio, PAN, insurance, government services, post office schemes & cell phone services.
In case of failure of Aadhaar, you would lose access to your bank accounts and; the tax authorities will not process your income tax return. You may lose access to your insurance policies & your phone number will be deactivated.