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SC seeks Centre’s reply on pleas challenging Aadhaar Act

6:26 PM, Friday, November 3rd, 2017
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adhar card NewDelhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the government’s response to four petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with the 12-digit biometric identification number.

The apex court did not 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.

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, however, said the banks and telecom service providers should indicate the last date of linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar 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.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners, referred to a recently filed affidavit by the Centre and said the government has said the deadline for linking Aadhaar may be extended till March 31, 2018.The bench, however, said the petitioners can raise this issue before the court which would hear all Aadhaar-related matters in the last week of November.

“There is no doubt that these arguments need consideration. The matter is going to come up in the last week of November and the time (to link Aadhaar with bank accounts) has been extended till December 31,” the bench said. On October 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said that a constitution bench would be constituted and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in November last. 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.

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