Deadline to Link Aadhaar With Schemes Extended: Centre to SC

Deadline to link Aadhaar with welfare schemes extended till March 31 govt. tell SC

There have been a number of petitions challenging these linkages with privacy concerns being the primary reason, because Aadhaar contains critical data of a person and there is every possibility of a scam happening or of a hacker cracking into a bank account to steal money.

The counsel appearing for petitioners, who have challenged the government's move to make Aadhaar mandatory for these schemes, raised the issue of the mandatory linking of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers.

"I will not link #Aadhaar with my phone, if they want to disconnect my phone, let them", Ms Banerjee said defiantly, addressing her Trinamool Congress party's core committee meeting.

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With petitioners remaining adamant on an early hearing, Venugopal said the government had no objection if a constitution bench heard and expeditiously decided the validity of Aadhaar. The Aadhaar card even bore a picture of the popular Hindu god, addressed him as the son of "Pawan" and even displayed a mobile number and thumbprint. Though no order or notification is available of the same, the government has said the deadline can be pushed to March 31, 2018, from the current December 31, 2017, albeit only for those who haven't enrolled for Aadhaar yet. "If CBSE says no hall ticket without Aadhaar number, then it amounts to coercing students to part with their biometrics". "Please hear it in November". Venugopal said that he would come back and respond to the clarification sought by the court on Monday.

During the hearing, the Attorney General referred to the apex court's judgement declaring right to privacy as a fundamental right and said in that verdict, Justice Chandrachud had emphasised that a robust regime for protection of data should be put in place. Venugopal told the court that the Justice B Srikrishna panel, constituted by the Centre to draw up a data protection policy, is reviewing the entire issue of data protection. The court asked the A-G to mention the matter before it on October 30. His plea got support from the bench, which observed, "The people are struggling the world over with data protection".

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