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Government to extend Aadhaar linking deadline to March 31 Apex Court to hear plea next week

Government to extend Aadhaar linking deadline to March 31 Apex Court to hear plea next week
The Supreme Court will next week hear a plea seeking interim relief in the Aadhaar case while the top court decides the legality of the government's ambitious flagship programme to assign every citizen a unique identity number, after the government said it would only extend a deadline for getting Aadhaar and seeding it to various social security benefits from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
A three-judge bench, led by chief justice of India Dipak Misra, agreed to hear the plea next week, the last working week of the court before it breaks for its winter recess. This despite an assurance held out by Attorney General KK Venugopal that the central government would issue a notification later in the day extending the deadline for 131 services till March 31, 2018.
"The government will issue a notification today extending the deadline for 131services," the AG said, without specifying the services. The AG said the extension would not, however, be extended beyond Dec 31, 2017, for linking mobile services to Aadhaar as the government was hemmed in by a court order which mandated it to do so by December 31.
He also referred to a white paper on data protection to claim that the Aadhaar Act would have to be overhauled to further tighten the existing data protection regime to push for a late hearing of a host of petitions challenging the legality of the Aadhaar Act.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, who's is spearheading the legal battle against Aadhaar in court, said that the government should hold out an unequivocal assurance that no coercive measures would be taken in the interim by the government.The AG resisted giving any such assurance, instead insisting that if the government did not insist on Aadhaar, no one would submit it. "In that case, I will argue the case," he insisted.
Divan then insisted on an early hearing next week by a Constitution bench on interim relief against the government's insistence on Aadhaar. The CJI said he would notify the date later.
The Economic Times, New Delhi, 8th November 2017

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