It seems the Modi government can't make up its mind on the matter of the final deadline for linking Aadhaar with sundry schemes and services. Yesterday, in a second U-turn in the course of one month, Attorney-General KK Venugopal, representing the Union Government, told the Supreme Court that the Centre was willing to extend the deadline for the linkage to March 31 next year. The current deadline for linking Aadhaar card with bank accounts, PAN, insurance policies, small savings schemes like PPF and NSC, mutual fund investments and social security schemes is December 31, 2017. And the deadline for Aadhaar-Mobile SIM linking is February 6 next year.
Back on October 25, the centre had told the apex court that it was willing to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various schemes to March 31, 2018, but only for those who were "willing to enrol for Aadhaar", not those who had already signed up. But at the next hearing just five days later, it had changed its stance, saying it was unwilling to extend the deadline.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said it will set up a Constitution bench next week to hear a batch of petitions seeking stay on the government's push for mandatory Aadhaar linking. According to the Hindustan Times, a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, said only a Constitution bench can pass any interim stay order. According to the court, the Constitution bench will take up the Aadhaar case once the on-going hearing in the Delhi-Centre dispute over administrative control of the national capital is over.
Till then, expect to continue getting bombarded with alerts from various financial institutions and your mobile service provider reminding you about the looming Aadhaar linking deadlines. And the government can continue to think up new schemes/services that it can drag under the Aadhaar umbrella.