For now, the Centre and states cannot insist on Aadhaar for any service, including issuance of passports, mobile numbers, bank accounts or any other service
The Hush Post: The apex court has said that except for disbursing subsidies, the Centre and states cannot insist on Aadhaar for any service, including issuance of passports. The Supreme Court has indefinitely extended the March 31 deadline for linking Aaadhar to bank accounts and mobile phones and the extension will be in place till the court delivers its final judgment.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, is hearing a number of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.
The top court’s means that the deadline of March 31 that was earlier declared for bank accounts and mobile phones to be linked to Aadhaar, has now been extended till the court gives its final decision on whether the Aadhaar Act is legal or notl. “We direct that the interim order passed on December 15 shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment (of the court) is pronounced,” it said.
The Centre had refused to issue a passport under Tatkal scheme to lawyer-activist Vrinda Grover, who had to travel to Bangladesh for a conference, without her producing Aadhaar card. Senior advocate Arvind Datar, on behalf of the petitioner told the Bench that the Centre, in blatant violation of the SC’s interim order, was insisting on Aadhaar even before March 31.
In a previous hearing, the SC had asked the Centre to announce an extension of the deadline well in advance of March 31 so as to avoid creating confusion in the banking and financial system. This was in response to the Centre stating that it was ready to extend the deadline in view of the ongoing arguments in the court.