Mention last date for Aadhaar linkage, mobile firms and banks told

Mention last date for Aadhaar linkage, mobile firms and banks told

Mention last date for Aadhaar linkage, mobile firms and banks told

Banks and mobile service providers must mention the deadlines - December 31 and February 6 - in SMS's sent to customers on linking their accounts to the Aadhaar numbers, the Supreme Court told the government on Friday.

The last date of linking mobile numbers with Aadhaar is 6 February 2018 and for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts is 31 December 2017.

However, the SC didn't put an interim stay on sending out such texts, or companies following a questionable DoT circular to intimidate customers about mandatorily updating the Aadhaar number for continued mobile or banking services.

The petitions challenge the linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar on multiple grounds including violation of the right to privacy, and articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

However, the petitioners challenging the Aadhaar scheme argue that the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for public welfare schemes constrict rights and freedoms which a citizen has always been enjoying. Additionally, both the Centre as well as the SC have said that the deadline will not be extended.

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The Centre further added that the 12-digit number and the mobile number must be linked within the stipulated time frame since a decision like extending the deadline can not be extended unilaterally.

The court did not pass any order on extending the deadline but made it clear that if the hearing in the Aadhaar case does not take place in two weeks or fails to conclude before December 31, the petitioners can approach the concerned bench for seeking further extension of deadline.

Customers on Twitter have reported receiving pesky communiques from banks and telecom operators warning them to link Aadhaar to their respective accounts in order to ensure their service continues uninterrupted.

The top court asked these institutions to avoid scaring people in this manner, while it was hearing a plea from social activists to restrain the Centre from linking Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile phone numbers until a Constitution bench decides its validity. The Centre however stated that it has chose to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar with existing bank accounts till March 31.

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