In the recent days, a lot of hustle and bustle was visible, pertaining to the linking of Aadhar Cards with bank accounts, phone numbers and (mostly) PayTm! The last date for linking was set to 31st March, 2018. It had become a pain, as people had to queue for hours in banks and other Aadhar centers(locally run) to prove the authenticity of their citizenship in terms of their bank accounts. Difficulty emerged in states like Assam where NRC is yet to be completed; there was no chance of getting Aadhar Cards before NRC proved them to be legal citiens of the country.
However, on 13th March, 2018, a bench of five judges headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra decided upon extending the time frame for linking Aadhar cards indefinitely. This was a huge relief for many as failure in linking of the twelve-digit biometric number would have curtailed them from various services and welfare schemes.
A number of petitions were filed against the validity of Aadhar card. The Supreme Court after hearing these pleas decided to call upon a bench of judges to give the verdict whether Aadhar linking dates be extended or not. The Constitution Bench is hearing petitions that are questioning the constitutional validity of Aahar cards. Claims have been made that this will be a breach of their fundamental Right to Privacy.
We are dealing with the entire financial system… We cannot let this state of uncertainty prevail… We cannot tell them, like on March 27, whether the deadline is extended or not… A banker cannot be expected to seek compliance from customers within seven days,” Justice Chandrachud addressed Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal during a hearing on March 7.
As per UIDAI, Aadhar card is not required for mobile SIM cards, passports, PAN cards, insurance, mutual funds, small saving schemes and e-payment portals such as PayTm. However, you will still need it for opening new bank accounts, availing government subsidies, applying for tatkal passport and direct benefit transfer (DBT).
As of now, there is nothing that you can lose for not linking your Aadhar card. However, the Supreme court might change its plans. In case the Aadhar is not provided, DBT might be discontinued for people. Again, people will not be barred from financial, telecom or hospital services just because of not showing Aadhar card.
As the Supreme Court hasn’t made a final decision, no commercial service-provider can deny services just because you are unable to show an Aadhar card. In case of hotels, any other form of government-verified proof of identity has to be accepted. If they deny, then you can ask them to state it in writing and can threaten them with legal action.
Question is how long will it remain indefinite to link Aadhar card? Would Aadhar turn out to be an unnecessary document in the recent days? Ony time would tell.