While the fate of biometric Aadhaar card is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court, the Government will once again, extend the deadline of linking Aadhaar Card with other schemes until December 31, 2017.

The Supreme Court recently ruled out a judgement, declaring ‘Right to Privacy’ as a fundamental right as per Constitution of India, which has led to questions about the validity of mandatory linking orders of the Aadhaar Card with different schemes and services. SC will be hearing on Aadhaar Card case from the government as well as the petitioners and decide whether the biometric identification card breaches India’s fundamental right to privacy, or not. Supposedly considering the unknown future of Aadhaar, the Central Government has informed to Supreme Court that it is extending the deadline to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare services in India.

The deadline was earlier set to be August 31, which was then extended to September 30 and now it will be changed to December 31, 2017 – all over again. Now this is the deadline for linking Aadhaar card with bank accounts and there has been no specification about extension of date for linking the Aadhaar card and the PAN card or for tax filing. On Tuesday, the taxation department had cautioning tax filers that that returns would not be processed until the “linkage of Aadhaar with PAN is done”, but the notice of extension for Aadhaar-bank linkage definitely raises hope for PAN-tax extension too.

The decision should not be hurried into, because it must be mandated only after a five-judges-bench decided whether Aadhaar compromises Indian citizens’ right to privacy or not. In the first week of November, hearings against and for Aadhaar linkage will he made by Supreme Court – which will be a challenging job for the Government; and only after that can Aadhaar be made compulsory to avail various social welfare services in India.

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