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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Deadline for declaring Aadhaar for social schemes will be extended to Dec 31

Supreme Court says petitions challenging Aadhaar programme will be heard in first week of November

india Updated: Aug 30, 2017 17:43 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The government says Aadhaar is crucial for its social welfare programmes since it will help plug leaks
The government says Aadhaar is crucial for its social welfare programmes since it will help plug leaks(AFP FILE)

The Union government will extend the September 30 deadline by three months for people to declare their Aadhaar numbers in order to continue receiving welfare benefits, its lawyers told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

During the hearing, the top court said it will begin hearing petitions against the Aadhaar programme in the first week of November after the petitioners appealed for an early hearing. The court said that since the government had extended the deadline, the matter will be set for hearing next month.

Aadhaar, a biometrics-based identity system, has been challenged in courts on the grounds that it infringers on rights to privacy. The issue led to a larger debate, which was settled last week when a constitutional bench of the top court said that privacy was a fundamental right guaranteed to all Indians.

That decision could have a bearing on the petitions against Aadhaar in particular.

Attorney general KK Venugopal, the Centre’s representative, said the government will now shift the Aadhaar declaration deadline to December 31 for social services such as free cooking gas cylinders that women from poor families are entitled to.

Earlier, senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing various petitioners, mentioned the matter before the bench and sought early hearing on the batch of petitions that have challenged Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes.

When Divan referred to the deadline of September 30, Venugopal said, “We (Centre) will extend it to December 31”.

“The urgency is not there. It will be listed in the first week of November,” the bench said.

It was not immediately clear if an extension will also be given for the August 31 deadline for people to link their Aadhaar numbers with their PAN. HT reported on Tuesday that officials are not yet sure if the deadline will hold in light of the SC’s privacy ruling.

(with inputs from PTI)

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 11:31 IST