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Deadline to Link Aadhaar With Welfare Schemes Extended Till March 31; Government Tell SC

Deadline to Link Aadhaar With Welfare Schemes Extended Till March 31; Government Tell SC

If you have been rushing to get your 12-digit Aadhaar to avail benefits of various government schemes, this news is for you. The government has postponed the deadline for mandatory linking of the card to March 31, 2018 from Dec 31, 2017.

The government informed its decision regarding Aadhaarcard linking to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The new rule is explicitly for those who are not in possession of Aadhaar. The government has assured that it would take no action against those who do not have Aadhaar and will not be denied social welfare scheme benefits till March 31.

“We have decided to extend it till March 31, 2018,” Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

However, government’s decision came at a time when a plea, challenging the constitutional validity of its decision to make linking of mobile numbers and bank accounts with Aadhaar a must, has been made to the Supreme Court.

According to petitioner, mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers is illegal. It is also claimed that non-linking of Aadhaar with bank account would make citizens liable for prosecution under the PMLA Act.

As of now the card is needed for 135 schemes (of 35 ministries). This includes the free cooking gas (LPG) to poor women, kerosene and fertilizer subsidy, targeted public distribution system (PDS) and MGNREGA. The new deadline will apply to all of these.

On October 30, court will hear the government on mandatory linking of bank accounts and mobile phones.