Centre for Internet & Society

The government does away with the existing deadline of 31 December for linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar and PAN

The article by Komal Gupta and Ramya Nair was published in Livemint on December 14, 2017

The government on Wednesday extended the deadline for linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar to 31 March, in line with its submission to the Supreme Court.

The earlier deadline was 31 December.

Bank account holders will have to furnish their 12-digit unique biometric identity number and Permanent account number or PAN by 31 March or within six months of opening the account, whichever is earlier, said a statement from the finance ministry.

This will provide temporary relief to crores of bank account holders who had not linked their bank accounts with the 12-digit unique identity number.

Last week, the income tax department had extended the deadline for linking of Aadhaar with the permanent account number to 31 March from 31 December.

The move comes a day before a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court starts hearing the issue of stay against mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers.

The statement added that the bank account will cease to be operational in case of failure to furnish Aadhaar and PAN as on 31 March or at the end of six months. The account will become operational again only after the furnishing of documents.

“This is just a gesture from the government, seeking to avoid the court granting an interim stay against the mandatory linkage of Aadhaar with bank accounts. This apparent extension won’t truly help ordinary people, who will continue being harassed through constant messages urging them to provide their Aadhaar number to continue receiving entitlements, services, and for access to one’s own money,” said Pranesh Prakash, policy director at the Centre for Internet and Society, a Bengaluru-based think tank.