Indian court extends March 31 deadline for linking of biometric IDs

FILE PHOTO: A woman goes through the process of finger scanning for the Unique Identification (UID) database system, also known as Aadhaar, at a registration centre in New Delhi, India, January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the end-March deadline for linking of the country’s biometric ID program or Aadhaar to a range of services.

The top court, which is weighing petitions on the legitimacy of the federal government’s demand to make Aadhaar mandatory for services such as bank accounts and mobile phones, set no new deadline until it had given judgment in the case.

“The government cannot insist on mandatory Aadhaar,” said the five-judge Constitution Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.

Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty and Malini Menon; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani