In what could be said as a big relief to the common man, the Supreme Court on Tuesday indefinitely extended March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services.
On December 15 last year, the apex court had extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.
The Centre had last week indicated that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes run by the government might be further extended beyond March 31.
The Centre said that since some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing in the Aadhaar case, the government may extend the deadline from March 31.
A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan is currently hearing the Aadhaar matter in the Supreme Court.
“We have extended the deadline in the past and we will extend the deadline again but we may do it by the end of the month to enable the petitioners in the case to conclude the arguments,” Attorney General K K Venugopal had said.
The bench said, “It is a very valid point raised by the Attorney General and the court would not allow repetitive arguments made by the petitioners’ counsel in the matter.”
Earlier senior advocate Shyam Divan, who had led the arguments challenging Aadhaar and its enabling Act, said that the deadline of March 31 be extended as it was highly unlikely that the hearing in the case challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act will be concluded.