A specially constituted bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer will be hearing a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits. Photograph:( WION Web Team )
The top court said the messages sent to customers should indicate that they have time till December 31
The Supreme Court on Friday askd the government to reply to four petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar, a unique biometric identification number.
A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan also asked banks and telecom service providers to specify the last date of linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar as December 31 and February 6 in the messages sent by them to their customers.
The top court did not pass any interim order and said that the final hearing in all Aadhaar-related issues would start before the constitutional bench in the last week of November. The court said the government had already extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts till December 31.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners, referred to a recently-filed affidavit by the government and said the government has said the deadline for linking Aadhaar may be extended till March 31, 2018.
The bench, however, said the petitioners can raise this issue before the court which would hear all Aadhaar-related matters in the last week of November.
"There is no doubt that these arguments need consideration. The matter is going to come up in the last week of November and the time (to link Aadhaar with bank accounts) has been extended till December 31," the bench said.
On October 25, the government told the top court that the deadline for linking mandatory linking of Aadhaar to receive benefits of government schemes has been extended till March 31, 2018 for those who do not have the 12-digit unique biometric identification number and were willing to enroll for it.
On October 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said that a constitution bench would be constituted and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in November last.
Several petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of welfare schemes have been filed in the top court.
Some petitioners in the top court have said the linking of the 12-digit identification number with bank accounts and mobile numbers is "illegal and unconstitutional".
They have also objected to the CBSE's alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.
One of the counsel representing the petitioners had earlier said the final hearing in the main Aadhaar matter, which is pending before the top court, was necessary as the government "cannot compel" citizens to link their Aadhaar with either bank accounts or cell phone numbers.
Earlier, while hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the mandatory use of Aadhaar as an infringement of privacy, a nine-judge constitution bench had upheld the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India.
(With inputs from PTI)