Supreme Court to pronounce order on Aadhaar linking today

The Bench said it would hear the validity of Aadhaar law from January 17, 2018.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will pronounce its interim order on plea for stay of notifications mandating linking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts and for availing various social welfare benefits.

A five Judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Kanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhusan reserved orders after hearing Attorney General K.K. Venugopal for the Centre and a battery of lawyers led by Gopal Subramanium, seeking stay of the notifications.

The CJI told the counsel that since the deadline has been extended, the only question to be decided is whether Aadhaar can be insisted for opening of new bank accounts and extending time limit for notifications and circulars issued by States, which will be addressed in the interim order. The Bench said it would hear the validity of Aadhaar law from January 17, 2018.

At the outset the AG informed the court that it has been decided by the Government to extend the deadline till March 31 for linking of Aadhar with existing bank accounts. For opening of new accounts in banks, linking of Aadhar has to be done by March 31 or within six months from the date of commencement of bank account whichever is later, as the date of submission of Aadhaar number, PAN or Form 60 by the clients to the reporting entityprovided he/she has enrolled for Aadhar. For linking of mobile phones with Aadhaar, the AG said the court might extend the time limit beyond February 6, 2018.

Senior counsel Shyam Divan submitted that Aadhaar has been made mandatory for bank accounts and welfare schemes in violation of an earlier order of the Supreme Court, which had permitted it only for six schemes. Aadhaar has been made mandatory for board exams, scholarships, noon meal programme, cremation of dead persons, higher education by the education boards and the University Grants Commission. Even HIV-positive patients are denied treatment if they do not have Aadhaar, Mr. Dhivan said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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