The Supreme Court last week extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar to all services including new bank accounts and mobile phone connections, to 31 March, 2018.
Feeling the need to have a common deadline till the validity of Aadhaar is finally settled by the apex court, a five-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Friday said, "We are of the considered view that the resolution of the issues raised before the court should proceed at the earliest, after the court reassembles in January 2018".
The Supreme Court's interim order on Aadhaar doesn't bring greater clarity to the main issues over the unique identity number that the government and UIDAI want to impose on every Indian.
Some petitioners in the top court have termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as "illegal and unconstitutional".
The deadline for Aadhaar-linking with SIM (mobile phone) was February 6 previously.
The court accepted the Centre's suggestion and ordered accordingly. "As a effect of the extension of the deadline to 31 March 2018, it is ordered accordingly".
Having directed the extension of deadline till March 31, 2018 for the linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones, the court further directed that the extension shall apply to the schemes framed by all the central ministries and departments including by the state governments.
Existing Aadhaar cardholders will have to furnish their details to open new bank accounts. New bank accounts can be opened without Aadhaar but applicant needs to submit proof that he or she has applied for the Aadhaar card, the top court said.
On Thursday, a five-judge constitution bench that included Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan heard several arguments against the Centre's direction for mandatory linking of one's Aadhaar to nearly 139 welfare schemes.
The court also clarified that "in so far as the provisions of Section 139 AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 are concerned, the matter stands governed by the judgment of this Court in Binoy Viswam v/s Union of India".