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Mobile service providers, banks must clearly state last date to link Aadhaar, says Supreme Court

The apex court also pulled up telecom providers and banks for sending threatening messages regarding Aadhaar linking and that they must mention the last date in the messages sent by them to their customers.

BT Online | November 4, 2017 | Updated 10:22 IST
Mobile service providers, banks must clearly state last date to link Aadhaar, says Supreme Court

While hearing the Aadhaar case on Friday, Supreme Court refused to pass any interim order in the matter saying that final hearing in all Aadhaar-related issues would start before another bench in the last week of this month and the Centre has already extended the deadline till December 31. The apex court also pulled up telecom providers and banks for sending threatening messages regarding Aadhaar linking and that they must mention the last date in the messages sent by them to their customers.

"We make it clear that in the messages sent by banks and telecom service providers, the date of December 31, 2017 and February 6, 2018, shall also be indicated as the last date of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers," the bench said.

On October 30, the Supreme Court handed the Aadhaar-related matters to constitution bench for hearing in the last week of November. Several petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of welfare schemes have been filed in the apex court.

Some petitioners even termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as "illegal and unconstitutional".

However, on October 25 Centre told the top court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to receive benefits of government schemes has been extended till March 31, 2018 for those who do not hold the 12-digit unique biometric identification number and were willing to enroll for it.

Aadhaar has been at the centre of controversy for some time now. Lately, a nine-judge constitution bench of the apex court had held that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had claimed it violated privacy rights.

In fact, they also objected to the CBSE's alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.  

According to one of the counsel representing the petitioners, government "cannot compel" citizens to link their Aadhaar with either bank accounts or cell phone numbers.

 

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