New Delhi, Mar 13: Deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones will stand extended indefinitely till the judgement is pronounced in the case, said the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, also said that the government cannot insist for mandatory Aadhaar. (Here’s how you can link your Aadhaar with mobile phone number) Also Read - Aadhaar Card Latest Update: How to Register, Update Mobile Number in Aadhaar, Can it be Done Online? Why is it Required?

The earlier deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and SIM cards was March 31. Last week, Centre had told the Supreme Court that it may extend the deadline to link Aadhaar with bank account and mobile numbers.  Also Read - Aadhaar Card Download: Have You Lost Your Aadhaar Card in COVID-19 Lockdown? Follow These Simple Steps to Retrieve it

Senior advocate Arvind Datar, who had concluded his arguments against the Aadhaar Act on March 7, had said that the March 31 deadline needs to be extended, a contention which was also supported by another senior advocate KV Viswanathan saying that till the court decides the matter one way or the other, Aadhaar can’t be made mandatory. Also Read - 'Ensure Complete Compliance', Supreme Court Grants One More Month to Govt For Giving Permanent Commission To Women Officers in Army

However, the deadline for subsidies and government programs remains March 31. Meanwhile, the last date to link Aadhar with e-wallet services was February 28.

On December 15 last year, the apex court had extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.

Earlier senior advocate Shyam Divan, who had led the arguments challenging Aadhaar and its enabling Act, said that the deadline of March 31 be extended as it was highly unlikely that the hearing in the case challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act will be concluded.

“The deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes is March 31. This will have all India ramification as various institution would have to adjust themselves accordingly,” Divan said.