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Linking Aadhaar with Mobile, Center sets new deadline of February 6th 2018

04 November 2017

"We make it clear that in the messages sent by banks and telecom service providers, the date of December 31, 2017 and February 6, 2018, shall also be indicated as the last date of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers", the bench said.

The bench, however, refrained from staying the Centre's move of making Aadhaar linking mandatory, leaving such decisions to the constitution bench that will hear a challenge to the Aadhaar scheme's constitutionality.

The court asked the centre to direct phone companies to include in their text messages the deadlines for linking their mobile numbers and bank accounts with Aadhaar.

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Petitioners challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar have alleged that customers were being bombarded with messages threatening deactivation of bank accounts and mobile phone connections if they failed to link them with their UIDAI numbers.

The top court's ruling comes as a temporary relief for people who are facing threats of their bank accounts being frozen and mobile connections snapped if they are not linked to Aadhaar. Lending credence to what the petitioners said, Justice Sikri said, "You may say it is oral, but even I am receiving these messages on daily basis".

It seems the citizens have limited respite as of now, and needn't worry if they haven't updated their Aadhaar (if they have it) with their mobile or bank account numbers.

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In a report by the Times of India, this order comes in the wake of the Lok Niti Foundation case, where the SC, according to a previous report, is said to have made the linking mandatory. "For existing account holders, the deadline for Aadhaarbased verification is being extended to March 31 and no coercive action will be taken till then".

Issuing notice to the Centre, the court tagged the two petitions with the main petition by the former Karnataka High Court Judge K.S. Puttaswamy, others by first Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Magsaysay awardee Shanta Sinha, CPI leader Binoy Viswam and others challenging the validity of Aadhaar on the grounds of being violative of right to privacy and on other counts.

The SC bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued the direction while hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar Act.

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In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Centre also said production of Aadhaar was mandatory for opening new bank accounts.

Linking Aadhaar with Mobile, Center sets new deadline of February 6th 2018