The Supreme Court on Friday sought Centre’s response on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. The apex court added that all matters concerning the Aadhaar will be taken up by another bench in the last week of November since the Centre has already extended the deadline for linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with the 12-digit unique identification number. The matter was heard by a bench comprising of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan who directed the banks and telecom service providers to indicate the last date for linking bank accounts and mobile numbers in the messages sent to customers.
“We make it clear that in the messages sent by banks and telecom service providers, the date of December 31, 2017 and February 6, 2018, shall also be indicated as the last date of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers,” the bench observed. Earlier in October, the Supreme Court had extended the date for linking of Aadhaar for receiving benefits of govt schemes to March 31, 2018. A nine-judge bench had recently ruled that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the purview of Indian Constitution.
The apex court made the aforementioned observations after the matter came up before it following a petition by Karnataka’s Mathew Thomas who had challenged the validity of the Aadhaar Act on the basis that it violates the Right to Privacy. Thomas’ plea had also pointed out that biometric mechanism is not working properly. Many political leaders have also expressed concerns over privacy issue surrounding Aadhaar. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had recently refused to link her Aadhaar card daring the authorities to disconnect her line. Apart from Mamata, Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma has also raised his concerns over the privacy issue and said he is yet to get enrolled for Aadhaar.