Thursday, January 21, 2021
Top Stories

No extension beyond March 31 for linking Aadhaar to welfare schemes: SC


NEW DELHI, March 27: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday refused to further extend the March 31 deadline for linking of Aadhaar with government schemes and benefits.
This comes days after the SC ordered an indefinite extension to the March 31 deadline for mandatory linking of the biometric identifier with bank accounts and mobile phones.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said: “We will not pass any interim order at this stage,” and added that the petitioner may argue this aspect in their rejoinder submissions.
On December 15 last year, the apex court had extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.
Earlier, senior advocate Shyam Divan, who had led the arguments challenging Aadhaar and its enabling Act, said that the deadline of March 31 be extended as it was highly unlikely that the hearing in the case challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act will be concluded.
Last week, the CJI’s courtroom was the centre of attraction for lawyers, litigants and journalists as UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey made a power point presentation to allay concerns of about data security surrounding Aadhaar, probably the first such instance in the nation’s top court.
Terming Aadhaar’s data security “infallible”, Pandey claimed that breaking its encryption would take “more than the age of the universe for the fastest computer on earth”.
Following this, the bench had asked petitioners opposed to Aadhaar to compile their queries in a questionnaire format by March 27.
Taking a cue from the Pandey’s power point presentation, senior advocate K V Viswanath, the counsel for the petitioners, today argued against the purported “88% success rate” of Aadhaar authentication in government systems.
“If the data of UIDAI says that there was only 88 per cent success rate of Aadhaar authentication, then it means that 12% people are excluded from the benefits in schemes linked with Aadhaar. Twelve per cent failure is too high,” the lawyer said.
The hearing on clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law, will resume on April 3 when the attorney general would restart advancing his submissions. (PTI)