New Delhi: 

Tax payers have been given time till March next year to link their PAN cards to Aadhaar, the government announced today.

The tax department’s order was issued hours before the deadline was to end at midnight. It said the Central Board of Direct Taxes, or CBDT “extends the time for linking PAN with Aadhaar till 31 March 2019”.

This is the fifth time that the government has extended the last date.

The government had initially resisted suggestions during the Supreme Court hearing to extend giving tax payers more time to
The Supreme Court, which has heard a bunch of petitions filed against the Aadhaar law, had earlier told the government to extend the deadlines till it decides on the petitions.

The court concluded the marathon 38-day hearing of the case in May.

The five-judge bench of the court hasn’t yet delivered its ruling whether making Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes and financial transactions like getting a loan or filing taxes violates the constitutional right to privacy.

Activists have challenged the validity of the Aadhaar law, claiming that forcing citizens to link the unique identification number to various services violates their Right to Privacy. The Supreme Court had last year ruled that privacy was a fundamental right. The large-scale sharing of biometric data like iris scans and finger printing also leaves room for misuse, they have contended.