The Supreme Court on Friday extended the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes till March 31 next year.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in an interim order, also modified its earlier order with regard to linking of Aadhaar with mobile services and said the deadline of February 6 next year for this purpose also stood extended till March 31.
The bench, which also comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, said that for opening new bank accounts, an applicant will not be required to provide Aadhaar number to the bank.
However, the applicant will have to show the proof to the bank that he/she has applied for the Aadhaar number, Justice Chandrachud, who wrote the unanimous interim order, said. The apex court said the Constitution Bench would commence final hearing from January 17 on the petition challenging the Aadhaar scheme itself.
On Thursday, Attorney General K K Venugopal had submitted before the top court that the deadline of mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes can also be extended upto March 31 next year.
Recently, 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. Some petitioners in the top court have termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as "illegal and unconstitutional".