Govt may extend March 31 deadline for Aadhaar linkage

virtual IDs

The government is planning to further extend the last date for linking of Aadhaar to all the important services such as banking, mobile numbers and other accounts beyond March 31.

The Centre indicated in the Supreme Court today that since some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing in the Aadhaar case, the government may extend the deadline from March 31.

The development comes a few weeks after the apex court turned down the plea by a senior lawyer seeking an extension of a deadline for linking Aadhaar to other services beyond March.

Earlier, on December 15 last year, the Supreme court had extended the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes till March 31.

The apex court is hearing the matter in which the Centre is arguing over the mandatory implementation of Aadhaar to avail government services while the petitioners are leading the arguments challenging it.

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.

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

In early this year, 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.

Besides, mobile wallet companies are also facing the brunt of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) mandatory know your customer (KYC) rule.

The KYC process demands the physical presence of users at different wallets’ partners which verify user’s Aadhaar details and capture their biometrics.

Mobile wallets have lost millions of customers as the new regulations have kicked-in. According to some estimate, the new rule has caused the loss of more than 40 per cent mobile wallet user base.

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