Putting all speculations to rest ,Supreme Court passed interim orders to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile numbers etc.The order came from a five judges constitution bench headed by CJI Deepak Mishra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhusan.
The Supreme Court issued the order while hearing the petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar ( Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services ) Act, 2016.The plea voices grave concerns regarding privacy and safety of Aadhaar data, misuse and breach of such data.
The court made it clear that the Aadhaar number will only be mandatory for accessing social welfare schemes and subsidies but the deadline of 31st March will stand extended for public and private services until the petition is heard and the judgement pronounced.
The interim order came in the wake of the deadline of mandatory linking of Aadhaar number to mobile number, bank accounts, issuance of tatkal passports etc.The court extended the deadline as they reasonably expected that the hearing of matter would extend well beyond 31 March.
On 7th March the Court had directed CBSE not to make Aadhaar mandatory for NEET and other All India level Exams.On 15th December it had extended the deadline to 31st March 2018.
The Aadhar Act has been a bone of contention and it will be interesting to see what will be the final verdict of the Court in this regard.Privacy of one billion Indians as well as their free access to public and private services is at stake.This interim order is certainly happy news for activists and the public until the final judgement is pronounced.