SC Verdict on extension of Aadhar Linking deadline

Supreme Court Denies extension of Aadhaar Linking for Welfare Schemes

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The Supreme Court refused to extend the deadline (i.e. 31st March 2018) for linking Aadhaar with welfare schemes. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, UIDAI CEO, had mentioned in a Powerpoint presentation that the success rate of the Aadhaar authentication is only 88 percent. Quoting the same lines, Senior Advocate K V Viswanath opposed that if the success rate is 88 percent, then 12 percent people are yet to be included. He further added that 12 percent exclusion is too high. He inferred from the PPT that 14 crore people are still not getting benefits.

Appearing before a constitutional bench comprising of Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, Advocate K K Viswanath insisted on the requirement of March 31st deadline extension. His petition was strongly denied by Attorney General K K Venugopal, who said that “nobody has been excluded”. Subsequently, the bench decided not to extend the deadline beyond March 31st, 2018.

To support the success rate of the Aadhaar programme, the CEO said that the success rate for government schemes is 88 percent, 95 percent for banking and 97 percent for telecom. He indicated that the lower success rate in government schemes was due to some ‘vested interests’. To support the Aadhaar authentication success for banking and Telecom, the CEO elaborated about the 67 crore SIM cards sold by telecom companies using Aadhaar authentication. At the end of the PPT presentation, senior advocates Shyam Divan and K V Viswanath presented a list of 20 questions to the bench, which consequently asked CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey to reply accordingly with a written response.

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