Therefore, until the case is resolved, the Supreme Court has ruled that the March 31 deadline - that had been decided in the latter half of past year - for the linking of Aadhaar to various services like mobile phones, bank accounts and passports has been extended indefinitely until further notice.
The government's decision to implement the mandatory linkage of Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile phones ahd evoked angry reactions from civil rights activists, who argued that the step was an infringement on citizens' privacy.
There's no new deadline to connect these services with the 12-digit Aadhaar number.
"We direct that the interim order passed on December 15, 2017 shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced", the court said in its order.
For the unaware, March 31 was the previous deadline to link mobile connection/bank account with Aadhaar.
The bench had earlier said that since the matter would have implications on financial institutions like banks and stock exchange, it would create a huge problem of compliance if the deadline was extended at the last moment.
On March 7, the government had told the Supreme Court that it might extend the deadline as some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing of the Aadhaar case. Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act states that Central or State Governments can make possession of an Aadhaar number or Aadhaar authentication mandatory for receipt of subsidies, benefits or services funded out of the Consolidated Fund of India. "In case of normal passport, pre-police verification is being done and for that objective Aadhaar is not being taken", Venugopal said.
While making the order, the Chief Justice Dipak Misra-headed constitution bench clarified that the extension of the deadline was only applicable to bank and mobile linking and will not affect the linking of Aadhaar with the disbursal of benefits under social welfare schemes.
Apart from extending the deadline for linking Aadhaar with mobile number, the Supreme Court has also extended the deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts.
On March 13, matters reached a peak when advocate Vrinda Grover moved the Supreme Court against the linking of tatkal passport service to Aadhaar.