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Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

Govt may extend last date to link PAN with Aadhaar

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pan-aadhaar1NEW DELHI : The deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts and various government schemes will be pushed back from December 31 to March 31, the government has told the Supreme Court today.

The government likely to extend the deadline by 3-6 months to link the biometric identifier Aadhaar with PAN in case the apex court rules in its favor, after which it may cancel all PANs that have not been linked, a senior official has said.

The cancellation will weed out all duplicate PANs and make benami transactions void, the official said. The government has indicated to the Supreme Court that it is willing to extend this deadline to March 31, 2018.
The official said that in the event of the apex court upholding the government position of making linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory and agreeing with the proposed deadline, a 3-6 month grace period would be given to allow all taxpayers to do the linking. As of November, 13.28 crore out of 33 crore PANs has been linked to the Aadhaar.
Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. Aadhaar has been made necessary for a host of financial services such as PPF, NSC, KVP apart from bank accounts, mobile numbers and to avail numerous social security schemes such as pension, scholarship and LPG connection
The current deadline for linking the 10-digit alphanumeric PAN (Permanent Account Number), issued by the Income Tax Department, with Aadhaar is December 31.

The government will issue notification for the extension tomorrow, Attorney General KK Venugopal, who is representing the Centre, told the court. But the deadline for Aadhaar linking to cellphone numbers, February 6, cannot be extended.

The petitioners, who had appealed against making the linking of Aadhaar mandatory, have objected to the conditional extension of deadline. “Our case is those who have Aadhaar must also be allowed not to link.
There are fears that Aadhaar will be misused,” said Udayaditya Banerjee, the advocate representing the petitioner “We have challenged the Aadhaar scheme itself. We wanted the court to pass interim orders,” the lawyer added.The interim order is expected next week.
Currently, the 12-digit number has to be added to bank accounts, PAN cards, government services and cellphone services. The matter will be heard by a five-judge bench of the top court, which will be led by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra.

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