Willing to extend deadline for linking Aadhaar to services: Centre tells SC

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Supreme Court on 30 October had said that a Constitution Bench would commence hearing on the clutch of petitions against Aadhaar scheme from the last week of November.

"That Aadhaar Act being in force, all notifications for requiring Aadhaar for various welfare programmes, verifying bank account, PAN card and SIM card with Aadhaar stand valid and lawful", it said in a statement.

At present, the deadline for linking the 10-digit alphanumeric PAN (Permanent Account Number), issued by the Income Tax Department, with Aadhaar is 31 December.

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While the deadline extension will be applicable on several schemes, there will be no change in last date for linking Aadhaar with mobile numbers which is to be done on or before February 6, 2018 by judicial orders.

The deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various government schemes will be extended till March 31 next year, the centre has told the Supreme Court today.

"The mandatory requirements of Aadhaar for PAN, bank accounts, welfare programs, and SIM cards have been challenged in the Supreme Court and no stay has been granted".

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Mutual funds are also mandatory for the individual to link with Aadhaar card before December, 31 as the deadline. This year, the government made the quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new PAN. The deadline to link Aadhaar card to mobile connection is fixed to February 2018.

The court said the plea for interim relief would be heard next week after the Aadhaar matter was mentioned by senior counsel P.B. Suresh who appeared for lead petitioner Justice K.S. Puttuswamy - a former judge of the Karnataka High Court. So far, private citizens run the risk of being locked out of access to their own bank accounts if they do not link them with Aadhaar by December 31.

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