Consequently, the Bench recorded the Centre's submission that students henceforth "need not necessarily" submit Aadhaar as their identity proof to register for NEET 2018, and other documents such as ration card or voter card or passport or driving licence or bank account would suffice.
"Notwithstanding judicial scrutiny and government's well-intentioned moves, the banks, particularly those in the PSUs, may find it hard and challenging to complete the task of linking Aadhaar with the accounts of all the customers by March 31, 2018, thus necessitating relaxation of the deadline", the Assocham said in a statement.
The Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which is hearing the challenge to Aadhaar, passed the order today after hearing Senior Advocates Vibha Makhija and Arvind Datar and advocate Abhinav Jain.
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".
Meanwhile, the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes run by the government may be further extended beyond March 31, the Centre had indicated in the SC on Tuesday. "If required, we can do it again", attorney-general K.K. Venugopal told a five-judge constitution bench.
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The petitioners said the deadline was nearing and the case was unlikely to be decided by 31 March.
The deadline for linking Aadhaar IDs with PAN cards was initially extended from June 30, 2017, to end August 2017 then December 31, 2017, to finally March 31, 2018.
However, Mr. Venugopal subsequently changed tack and said the UIDAI had never authorised the CBSE to issue this notification making Aadhaar mandatory for NEET aspirants.
The Supreme Court has asked the government to take a decision on the deadline Aadhaar with essential services soon.
Prior on February 22, former Karnataka High Court judge Justice K S Puttaswamy had told the supreme court that few deaths had allegedly occurred because of starvation by virtue of glitches in the Aadhaar-based open dissemination framework and the court must consider giving them remuneration.