The deadline of mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various government schemes has been extended to March 31, 2018, to avail different benefits from Government. The Supreme Court instructed a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra to extend the deadline for those who don’t have the 12 digits biometric identification number and are willing to enroll for it.
Messages such as: “Important Alert! As per Government’s directive, it is mandatory to link Aadhaar to your xxxx Mobile number. So, to avoid disconnection of services on your number, please walk-in to the nearest xxx Mobile Store today,” had flooded the inboxes of subscribers leading them to approach the Supreme Court.
The counsel appearing for petitioners have challenged the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for these schemes and raised the issues of linking of Aadhaar cards, a unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts as well as mobile numbers too. While on the other hand, one of their lawyers strongly objected to the CBSE’s move to make it mandatory for the students to appear for exams.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for petitioners, said that the main Aadhaar matter should be heard soon, however the government has decided to extend the date to 31st March, next year but it has also not said that any action would be taken against those who do not want to link their Aadhaar either with mobile number or with bank. According to him, the government cannot compel citizens to link their Aadhaar with bank accounts or mobile numbers.
“Final hearing of the matter is necessary. They can make a statement that they will not take a course of action against those who don’t want to link Aadhaar,” Divan said.
He also added that even Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked students to give their Aadhaar for appearing in board examinations. “What are they doing? A school child cannot go to school and give exam without giving his/her Aadhaar. Is this the real civil liberty about which we are talking in the country,” he said, while repeatedly pointing the bench that a full fledge hearing was necessary in the main matter.
In a note given to the court, the government has said that those who have Aadhaar cars are needed to link their Aadhaar with SIM card, PAN card, Bank account and other schemes where section 7 notifications have already been issued.
It also said that if the person doesn’t have Aadhaar but willing to enroll it can now be facilitated to enroll for Aadhar and will be provided benefits and services through alternate means of identification until such enrollment.
What Supreme Court Revealed Now:
The Supreme Court is seized with several petitions challenging mandatory linking of Aadhar with various welfare schemes, bank accounts and mobile numbers. The Centre has just extended the date for Aadhaar linking for all schemes till March 31, 2018.
Two deaths were already reported recently from Jharkhand area allegedly due to non-linking of Aadhaar with the PDS shops denying the deceased’s family the quota of ration they were entitled to. Many also complain about the loosing of subsidy benefit due to non-linking of Aadhaar with welfare schemes.
As of now six documents need to be linked with 12-digit biometric Aadhaar number o keep the related services in operation. These documents are:
Aadhaar Linking for Banking Financial:
Having a bank account without enrolling with the Unique Identification Authority of India is no longer possible now. If a person does not have any Aadhaar card and want to open a bank account, she will need to submit the 12 digit Aaadhaar number within six months failing of which date will make non-operational of your bank account. In fact any transaction over R. 50,000 cannot be made by the person who don’t have Aadhaar Card. Linking Aadhaar with PAN is also mandatory so that a person should not get away with multiple transactions of smaller amount.
Aadhaar for Welfare Schemes:
Subsidies provided by the Government cannot be availed without linking of Aadhaar by the beneficiary with the related schemes. To avail the subsidy of LPG, the gas connection holder needs to get the services Aadhaar linked through the service provider.
The BPL and APL families who are seeking to receive subsided food grains from ration shops are now need to get their ration cards linked with Aadhaar. The enrolment of Aadhaar linking is also mandatory for the farmers who are taking benefits under crop insurance, Soil Health Card schemes and Soil Health Management.
The government has also made Aadhaar mandatory for students who are seeking for scholarships from the Central Government.