Officially, the deadline for linking was declared to be August 31, 2017 i.e. today, but the Government has just extended the deadline to December 31.

The Aadhaar linking deadlines seem to be ever changing and there has been so many deadline extensions that getting confused is pretty reasonable. Just yesterday, Government had said to the Supreme Court that linking of Aadhaar card with public welfare services like mobile SIM cards, bank accounts and others was extended to December 31; but there was no specification about Aadhaar PAN linking. Which implied that the deadline may have remained unchanged and continued to be August 31.

Just before the day was about to end, Centre announced that the deadline for Aadhaar-PAN linking has been extended by four months and shifted to December 31, 2017. This is a good news for all the taxpayers because as per rule, tax returns filed without linking of Aadhaar and PAN would not be taken up for processing unless the two were linked by August 31, 2017. But the date has now been changed to December 31; this is second revision in the deadline of Aadhaar-PAN linking which comes after the previous extension from July 31.

Previously the deadline was extended by a month because majority of taxpayers were not able to file their ITRs due to congested web servers and sluggish networks. There were problems with inability to link both documents because of variations in names and/or other data. Whereas, the second 4-month extension has been given because the Supreme Court will be hearing on the petitions filed against Aadhaar card which says that mandating the biometric details of individual violates people’s right to privacy.

Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Right to Privacy as fundamental right is expected to have a significant impact on the Aadhaar card case and it questions the future and fate of the unique biometric identity. Unless the apex court passes on its judgement, mandating Aadhaar card into any system would prove to be vague – hence the extension. But anyway, it is a reason to sigh and relief for many.

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