Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Fix date for Aadhaar linking, SC tells banks, telecos

Deadline for Bank account Aadhaar linking extended to March 31 An advertisement of Aadhaar featuring elderly people
Andrew Cummings | 04 November, 2017, 00:55

"The deadline for linkage of Aadhaar with mobile phone number can not be modified by the government unilaterally (as it is fixed by the SC)", the Centre said, adding that it has chose to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar with existing bank accounts till 31 March.

Refusing to pass any order as the hearing by the constitution bench in these matters would commence in the third week of November, the court however granted liberty to press for stay if hearing does not take place as ordered or continues beyond December 31.

The Supreme Court on Friday askd the government to reply to four petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar, a unique biometric identification number.

The ruling was given by a bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.

The Bench told the A-G, "If the deadline for Aadhaar linkage is extended till December 31, why are banks issuing these instructions". Responding to this, the Supreme Court issued a firm guideline to not send bulk messages while asking the operators to mention the last day for linking mobile numbers with Aadhar.

However, on the question of extension of Aadhaar linkage deadline to March 31, Venugopal did not agree.

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However, the court rebuked banks and telecom companies saying they are creating panic by sending messages that their bank accounts and phone numbers will be deactivated if they are not linked with Aadhaar, reported TOI.

The centre says that the 12-digit unique ID or Aadhaar assigned to citizens is a must for government services, filing returns, financial transactions and mobile phones services.

He said the bunch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme and the Act will be heard by the apex court in the last week of November.

In addition, the Centre has now extended the deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts from December 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had earlier announced that the linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts is mandatory.

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