SC extends deadline for linking Aadhaar for all services indefinitely

The Supreme Court today extended the deadline for people to link their Aadhaar numbers for various services such as bank accounts and mobile telephones indefinitely till it pronounces its judgement on a bunch of petitions in the matter.
"Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we accept the submission made by the learned Attorney General. Subject to that, we direct that the interim order passed on 15.12.2017 shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced," a five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said in its order.
The other judges on the bench are Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan.
During the hearing, Mr. Arvind Datar, senior counsel, brought to the court's notice that a set of Rules, the Passports (1st Amendment) Rules, 2018 has been introduced which has conceived of passport under "Tatkal” Scheme. He and senior counsel Shyam Divan submitted that the interim order passed by the court on  December 15, 2017 should be extended and it should also cover the issuance of passports.
Attorney General K. K. Venugopal submitted that the court may think of extending the interim order. He, however, felt that the benefits, subsidies and services covered under Section 7 of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 should remain undisturbed. The court accepted that.
Today's order means that the March 31 deadline for people to link their Aadhaar number to their bank accounts and mobile telephones, among other services, stands extended indefinitely.
"It is also directed that the same shall also control and govern the Passports (1st Amendment) Rules, 2018," the order said.
The five-judge Constitution Bench is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the touchstone of the fundamental right to privacy filed by former Karnataka High Court judge K S Puttuswamy and others.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit random number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that uniquely identifies residents of India, along with their biometric information such as fingerprints and iris scans.
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