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09 March 2018, 01:01 | Rodolfo Wallace
Indian Government Tells Supreme Court That It Might Extend March 31 Deadline For Aadhaar Linkage
The Unique Identification Authority of India told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it had not authorised the Central Board of Secondary Examination, which conducts NEET, to make Aadhaar compulsory for submission of applications.
Attorney General KK Venugopal had told the apex court on Wednesday that like in Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam, other ID proofs can be given for the exams.
Besides Aadhaar, the candidates for NEET exams can show their passport, voter id or driving licence or give their bank account number for identity.
The Centre is considering the move to extend the deadline and the same was informed by the Narendra Modi-led government to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The UIDAI's remarks came on a plea challenging the decision of CBSE seeking mandatoryAadhaar number or Aadhaar enrollment number from students who are aspiring to take the NEET 2018 examination. "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.
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On December 15 previous year, the apex court had extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes.
"We had extended the ambit of our orders [on the voluntary nature of Aadhaar] to even the State governments", Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on the Constitution Bench reacted.
Justice Chandrachud questioned the Attorney General for not taking permission of the court for giving directions to extend Aadhaar for various services and said, "Is the Centre not bound to apply for variation of the order". Earlier, the top court had observed that the alleged defect of citizens' biometric details under the Aadhaar scheme being collected without any law could be cured by subsequently bringing a statute.
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.
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