The Supreme Court on Monday will hear the West Bengal government’s petition against the Centre’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory to avail of the benefits of social welfare schemes. The bench will also hear pleas against making it compulsory to link mobile phone numbers and Permanent Account Numbers with the 12-digit unique identification number.
On Friday, the Mamata Banerjee-led government had challenged the Centre’s directive, days after the chief minister said she will not link her Aadhaar number with her mobile phone number, even if the connection was snapped. She had accused the central government of interfering with people’s rights and privacy.
At the hearing on Monday, the central government is expected to reiterate that it is open to extending the deadline to link Aadhaar to receive benefits to March 31 for those who do not have their unique ID number yet. Those who already have an Aadhaar will have to link it to services by December 31.
So far, the Centre has made it mandatory to link more than 50 schemes with Aadhaar. It was also made compulsory to file Income Tax returns, even though the Supreme Court had restricted linking Aadhaar to six schemes. However, a Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court is still hearing arguments challenging the validity of Aadhaar.