Until recently, the deadline for the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services was the 31st of March.
However, with that deadline swiftly approaching, the Supreme Court had held a debate about whether or not to extend the deadline for Aadhaar.
On March 7th, the five-judge Constitution Bench, which was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said that it might not be possible to decide by March 31st.
This was because of the large number of petitions that were challenging the constitutional validity of the enabling law and the biometric scheme.
Therefore, the Supreme Court is deciding to extend the deadline until further notice.
The other four judges in the five-judge bench were A. K. Sikri, A. M. Khanwilkar, D. Y. Chandrachud, and Ashok Bhushan.
These four judges expressed the complications that would arise if the Aadhaar deadline were extended at the last minute, especially among financial institutions like banks and the stock exchange.
The government had declared that it is mandatory to link Aadhaar to welfare schemes, and they insisted that it was necessary to do this so they could weed out black money and benami deals.
The Center also had plans for it to be mandatory to link Aadhaar to other things, such as driving licenses and voter IDs.
More serious issues concerning Aadhaar are also arising.
On February 22nd, Justice K. S. Puttaswamy told the apex court of several reports of deaths that had been caused by starvation due to glitches in the Aadhaar-based public distribution system.
He said that the court must consider giving compensation to their families.
The Apex Court did observe that the defect of citizens’ biometric details under Aadhaar being collected without any laws could be solved by bringing in a statute.
No need to link Aadhaar till SC’s verdict
However, the Supreme Court still has yet to decide what to do about Aadhaar, concerning both the deadline extension and the system itself.
Image Reference: News18, Indianexpress