On August 25th, 2017 UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey clarified on Rajya Sabha TV that tax payers will have to link their PAN with Aadhaar by the scheduled deadline of August 31 despite the Supreme Court order on right to privacy. Pandey said various deadlines that have been prescribed, be it under provision of Aadhaar Act, Income Tax Act or money laundering rules will “have to be adhered to” as “those laws are valid”.
There have been a flood of media reports almost threatening the citizens of India to link their Aadhaar and PAN within the stipulated deadline or else their PAN will be deactivated. From all direction people are being bombarded with spams showing them easy steps in which they can link their Aadhaar with PAN.
The finance ministry is likely to decide tomorrow on whether to extend till year-end the deadline for linking PAN with biometric identifier Aadhaar.
But was there any official deadline set to link Aadhaar with PAN in the first place?
According to a question answered in the Lok Sabha on 11th August 2017 there is no such fixed deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN.
Two specific questions were asked by Shri Ram Charitra Nishad to the Minister of Finance with regards with linking of Aadhaar to PAN.
- (a) whether the Government has fixed any time frame to complete the linking of Aadhaar with PAN; and
- (b) if so, the details thereof and the steps taken by the Government in this regard?
The answer was provided by the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley:
- (a) No Madam.
- (b) Does not arise in view of reply to (a) above.
This is not the first time that UIDAI official has been caught lying in broad daylight. After GGI News published the story regarding How CIA Spies Access India’s Biometric Aadhaar Database, UIDAI in its response lied to the people of India saying that “Aadhaar data is safely encrypted and is not accessible to any other agency”. The lie was caught when in a startling disclosure it came to light that foreign firms had access to unencrypted Aadhaar data – and this access was because the UIDAI contracts itself permitted it. This was revealed through an RTI application filed by Bengaluru-based Col Matthew Thomas, one of the petitioners in the right to privacy case currently being heard in Supreme Court.