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March 31 deadline: SC says no to extension of Aadhaar linking


The Supreme Court has turned down the plea by a senior lawyer seeking an extension of a deadline for linking Aadhaar to other services beyond March.

Earlier, the government had extended the deadline for linking of the unique biometric identification number to a slew of services like bank accounts, mobile phones to March 31.

Five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra rejected the petition filed by Shyam Divan, a senior advocate who has been at the forefront of this case and fighting against Aadhaar.

Aadhaar opponents have maintained that the state cannot mandate biometrics, especially since the apex court had ruled that no one would be forced to part with such information, even accusing of one’s involvement in criminal offences.

Also Read: Over Rs 1 crore fraudulently withdrawn from banks using Aadhaar: MoS Finance

Meanwhile, a number of UIDAI data breach related privacy cases had come to the fore.

Last month, The Tribune’s journalist had got unrestricted access to Aadhaar details of more than a billion citizens in just Rs 500. It had details such as name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email.

However, terming the report of a data breach as ‘misreporting’, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has denied any data breach in Aadhaar security.

The government is also planning to use Aadhaar in many more projects. It is planning to use it in National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), dubbed as Modicare, claimed to be the world’s largest health cover, to weed out fake treatment.

The govt had announced to provide an initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore for the scheme, which aims to provide a medical cover of up to Rs 5 lakh to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, constituting 40 percent of India’s total population.

The development was first reported by ET.

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