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Never ordered Aadhaar-mobile number linkage: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that it never ordered mandatory linkage of Aadhaar card with the mobile phone number rather the government misinterpreted its February 6, 2017, observation and insisted on doing it.

During the hearing, Justice D Y Chandrachud said “In the Lokniti Foundation case, the SC has not directed linking of SIM with UID. But the Union government’s circular says so. There was no direction by the court…” The bench included Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar and Justice Ashok Bhusan.

In its order of February 6, 2017, the Supreme Court hardly recorded the submission of Former Attorney General  Mukul Mukul Rohatgi that Aadhaar was one of the documents used for verification of subscriber identity, clarified  CJI-led bench.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwedi who was representing UIDAI agreed with the bench and said the government appeared to have taken the SC’s observations for verification of mobile phone subscribers seriously.

Further, the bench said the court merely recorded the AG’s submission that “an effective programme for the same would be devised at the earliest and the process of identity verification will be completed within one year”.

The SC on March 13 had indefinitely extended the deadline for linkage of Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts of individuals and asked the government to wait till the constitution bench decided the validity of Aadhaar to take further steps in this regard.

 The Centre had in the interim agreed to extend the deadline for bank account linkage with Aadhaar till March 31.

 

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