The Supreme Court of India has extended the deadline for linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar till the date of its final judgment. With this ruling, the March 31 deadline originally imposed by the government has been extended indefinitely till the Supreme Court comes up with its final verdict.
This response has been issued by the Supreme Court in a case hearing the constitutional validity of Aadhaar. This extension, however, cannot be applied when it comes to availing service and subsidies under Section 7 of the Act. With the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts has now been put on hold, customers can continue to use the services of various banks in the country without any fear of discontinuation.
The five-judge Supreme Court bench consisting of Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with other Justices including A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, A K Sikri, and Ashok Bhushan is currently hearing the plea on the decision to determine the validity of Aadhaar. The bench is currently hearing petitioners on this issue, and the government will provide its response following that. Hence, it is expected that final verdict on this issue may not be possible before the end of this month.
In its original rule, the government had asked people to link their Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers by December 2017. An apex court ruling made in December extended the deadline to March 31, 2018. The new ruling has now extended the deadline even further till a final verdict is made on this case.
According to the Chief Election Commissioner of India Om Prakash Rawat, more than 32 crore people in the country have already linked their Aadhaar with their voter IDs. He also noted that another 54.5 crore voter IDs will be linked following the final decision from the Supreme Court.