Published On: Thu, Mar 8th, 2018

SC: Aadhaar not must for NEET

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2018_3$largeimg08_Thursday_2018_014652395New Delhi  :  The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) not to make Aadhaar mandatory for enrolment of students appearing in NEET 2018 and other all-India examinations.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the CBSE to accept alternative identification documents such as passport, driver’s licence, bank account, ration card, etc.

In view of the March 9 deadline for enrolment for NEET, the Bench asked the CBSE to do the needful at the earliest so as to avoid any inconvenience to students.

The Bench made it clear that it will extend the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers.

“Don’t worry. We will do it. Let the arguments be finished,” said CJI Dipak Misra after the petitioners’ counsel demanded that the deadline be extended to avoid any confusion at the last moment.

Justice Chandrachud said: “There is an issue. We are nearing the end of financial year. There is uncertainty in banks, stock exchanges and financial markets because of the deadline. They need time to enforce it.”

The Centre had on Tuesday hinted at extending the deadline for linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers beyond March 31 after the petitioners against the unique identification number pointed out that the case was likely to take more time to conclude.

Pointing out repeat violation of the orders passed by the top court that said Aadhaar was not mandatory, senior counsel Arvind Datar requested the Bench to initiate contempt proceedings against government authorities violating its orders.

Datar was supported by senior counsel Vibha Datta Makhija, who pointed out that government authorities were insisting on Aadhaar despite the court’s orders not to make it mandatory.

She was representing Abidali Yusufbhai Patel, a student who challenged the Gujarat High Court’s February 27 order refusing to interfere with CBSE’s directive.

On behalf of the Centre, the Attorney General told the Bench that the UIDAI had not authorised the CBSE to mandatorily take Aadhaar number of students to get themselves enrolled for the NEET 2018 examination.

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