New Delhi, Dec. 7 (PTI): The UIDAI said on Thursday there has been no change in the deadlines for using its biometric Aadhaar identification system to verify bank accounts, income-tax numbers and mobile telephony subscribers.
Reacting to a video clip circulating on Whatsapp, the Unique Identification Authority of India said the deadline for verifying bank accounts and the PAN or permanent account number issue by the income-tax department continues to be December 31, and that for linking mobile telephony SIM cards February 6.
The UIDAI said the Supreme Court has not stayed the linking of Aadhaar to various services.
“That Aadhaar Act being in force, all notifications for requiring Aadhaar for various welfare programmes, verifying bank account, PAN card and SIM card with Aadhaar stand valid and lawful,” it said in a statement.
”Today's legal position is that there is no stay as on December 7, 2017 from the Supreme Court on Aadhaar and its linking to various services,” it added.
The government has made Aadhaar mandatory for verifying bank accounts and PAN to weed out black money, while the Aadhaar will establish identity of mobile phone users.
”The mandatory requirements of Aadhaar for PAN, bank accounts, welfare programs, and SIM cards have been challenged in the Supreme Court and no stay has been granted. Therefore, it is clear that the video is outdated because it does not reflect the latest legal position as on today (December 7, 2017),” the statement said.
The UIDAI said the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, was passed by the Parliament on March 16, 2016 and notified in the Gazette of India on March 26, 2016.
So, notifications issued later by various government departments linking Aadhaar to specified services and benefits hold the field today, the UIDAI said.
The UIDAI said the video refers to an order passed by the Supreme Court on August 11, 2015, when the court had restricted the use of Aadhaar to just a few schemes.
But Parliament passed the Aadhaar Act in 2016 after the Supreme Court’s order of 2015, and it is this Act that rules today.
After the Act came into force, Aadhaar has been made mandatory for those who wish to benefit from welfare schemes such as the public distribution system for subsidised food items, subsidised cooking gas or LPG, the MNREGS rural employment guarantee scheme, scholarships and pensions.
The Income Tax Act was amended in March 2017 to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN cards. On June 1, 2017, rules aimed at preventing money laundering were amended to make Aadhaar mandatory for linking all bank accounts, insurance, pension, mutual funds and demat accounts.
”Supreme Court too in Lokniti Foundation case through an order passed in February 2017 has approved verification of all SIM cards with Aadhaar,” UIDAI said.
The apex court has upheld the linkage of Aadhaar with PAN in the case of Binoy Viswam vs Union of India, which mandates Aadhaar for income tax returns and PAN.