The Union government will be extending the September 30 deadline by three months for the convenience of the people to declare their Aadhaar numbers in order to continue receiving welfare benefits. The lawyers of Union Govt. told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
ALSO READ: India’s innovation growth could surpass China’s between 2025-2030: Report
Also, during the hearing, the top court announced that it will begin hearing petitions against the Aadhaar programme in the first week of November after the petitioners appealed for an early hearing. The court said that since the government had extended the deadline, the matter will be set for hearing next month.
Aadhaar is a biometrics-based identity system that has been challenged in courts on the grounds that it infringes on rights to privacy. The issue led to a larger debate, which was resolved last week by the constitutional bench of the top court which said that privacy was a fundamental right guaranteed to all Indians.
ALSO READ: How Mumbaikars kept the spirit of Mumbai alive
That decision could have a consequence on the petitions against Aadhaar in particular.
Attorney general KK Venugopal, the Centre’s representative in the matter, said the government will now shift the Aadhaar declaration deadline to December 31 for social services such as free cooking gas cylinders, that women from poor families are entitled to.
It was not immediately clear if an extension will also be given for the August 31 deadline for people to link their Aadhaar numbers with their PAN.