The Centre on Tuesday assured the Supreme Court that the government was open to extending beyond March 31 the deadline for linking Aadhaar cards with bank accounts and mobile phones.
“We have extended the deadline in the past too. We can do it again. Let’s see how the hearing proceeds. If required, we can do it again,” attorney-general K.K. Venugopal told a five-judge constitution bench.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, is dealing with a slew of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar law.
The attorney-general gave the assurance during the closing hours of the day’s hearing in response to pleas made by senior advocates who felt the hearing might extend beyond March 31.
Although not officially stated, there are indications that the deadline could be extended till May 31 or even beyond as the hearing of the case may go on for another month. Thereafter, such benches usually reserve the judgment. The verdict may be pronounced a month later or in July after the summer vacation.