New Delhi: The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the deadline for citizens to link their Aadhaar number with various services will be extended by the three months to March 31. The deadline set earlier by the government was December 31.

A notification to this effect will be issued by the central government on Friday, Attorney General KK Venugopal, who is representing the Centre, told the court.

While the deadline for linking mobile numbers with Aadhaar will not be extended beyond the February 6, as it has already been accepted by the top court, the fresh March 31 deadline also comes with conditions.
According to the government, the March 31 deadline for Aadhaar linkage will only apply to those who are yet to register for their unique Aadhaar identification.

The conditional extension of the deadline has been contested in court by the petitioners citing concerns over misuse of Aadhaar. “Our case is those who have Aadhaar must also be allowed not to link,” said Udayaditya Banerjee, the advocate representing the petitioner.

“We have challenged the Aadhaar scheme itself. We wanted the court to pass interim orders,” the lawyer added.

The court has agreed to hear petitions challenging Aadhaar next for interim relief. Interim orders may be passed next week.

The petitioners have moved the top court seeking a stay on the government making Aadhaar linkage mandatory for bank accounts, mobile numbers, saying it infringes upon an individual’s right to privacy.

Citizens are required to link their 12-digit unique identification number with government services, PAN cards, mobile numbers and bank accounts.