The five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra said in its judgment that Aadhaar is still necessary to avail social benefits, services and subsidies.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday indefinitely extended the deadline for linking of Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts and phone numbers, till the top court pronounces its verdict in the ongoing case.
The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, however, said that Aadhaar is still necessary to avail social benefits, services and subsidies.
In November 2017, the government had extended the linking of Aadhaar card with the Permanent Account Number (PAN) for taxpayers till March 31, 2018.
In December 2017, the apex court had also directed the extension of Aadhaar number linking with mobile numbers and bank accounts till March 31, 2018.
“While the extension is certainly welcome, it is also important to note that there currently is some uncertainty about whether this extension applies to linkages made mandatory under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act.
"If the latest order does indeed exclude Aadhaar linkages mandated under Section 7, a large number of Central and State Government schemes (such as PDS, LPG, MNREGA and many more) would still need to be linked to Aadhaar by the end of the month, significantly diminishing the relief brought by today's order. We are awaiting a copy of the interim order to clarify this,” said non profit legal services organisation Software Freedom Law Centre in a statement.
The final hearing in the Aadhaar validity case started on January 17, 2018.Earlier this month, the Government had indicated to the top court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes run by the government may be further extended beyond March 31.