Mar 31 deadline for Aadhaar linking may be extended: GoI

Grant Boone
March 9, 2018

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the CBSE not to make Aadhaar number mandatory for enrollment of students appearing in NEET 2018 and other all-India exams.

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, accepted the Centre's contention that students may instead submit their passport, driving licence, bank account, Voters identity or ration card as proof of identity.

CBSE had made Aadhar mandatory to apply for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) examinations in February for which a Abid Patel has file a plea against the order in Gujarat High Court reported OneIndia. The Centre had said that since some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing in the Aadhaar case, the government may extend the deadline from March 31, 2018. "Thousands of students are suffering, uncertain about their future. the Supreme Court has to send a clear message. something has to be done", Mr. Datar urged the five-judge Bench.

The bench said that there is no problem in extending the deadline and it will pass appropriate orders in this regard.

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The government suggestion came after petitioners challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar scheme sought such an extension. The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions that challenged the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services on the ground that it violated privacy.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, leading the arguments challenging the Aadhaar Act, had earlier asked that the deadline of March 31 be extended as it was unlikely the hearings would conclude by then.

In a brief order the Bench said students appearing for NEET or any other all India competitive examination need not necessarily produce Aadhaar as they can produce any other identity for taking the examination.

The plea, filed by a Gujarat resident, Abid Ali Patel, was mentioned in the morning before the Constitution Bench, which chose to urgently hear it post-lunch.

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