The Government of India has assured the Supreme Court that it will issue a notification to extend the deadline to link essential services, except mobile connections, to Aadhaar to March 31 from December 31.
The assurance was given by the Attorney General in the Supreme Court today. The notification is likely to be issued as early as tomorrow.
Presently, the last date to link Aadhaar with bank accounts is December 31 this year and for mobile numbers, it is February 6, 2018. In addition of 137 other services are to be linked to the unique ID.
The assurance comes in the wake of a decision by the Supreme Court to set up a special constitutional bench to examine the question of whether making Aadhaar for essential services was valid under the constitution of India.
Ten days ago, the Supreme Court had refused to give ‘interim relief’ to anti-Aadhaar activists who wanted a stay on the Aadhaar linking process.
With the government willing to extend the deadline, the question of an interim stay no longer arises.
Activists allege that forcing them to use Aadhaar to avail of key government services, such as filing their taxes, availing subsidy benefits and even operating a mobile phone, is against the rights guaranteed in the constitution.
They also allege that the move could invite the establishment of a surveillance state where individual rights are overlooked.
The Supreme Court, earlier this year, held that citizens in India have a ‘fundamental’ right to privacy that cannot be violated using ordinary laws.