The Central government on Friday extended the deadline for linking one’s permanent account number (PIN) with biometric identification Aadhaar to 31 March 2018, from 31 December 2017.

“It has come to notice that some taxpayers have not yet completed the linking of PAN with Aadhaar…therefore, to facilitate the process of linking, it has been decided to further extend the time for linking of Aadhaar with PAN,” the Finance Ministry said in a release.

This is the third time the deadline for Aadhaar-PAN linkage has been extended.  Earlier the deadline was 31 July 2017. The government shifted it to 31 August 2017, and thereafter to 31 December 2017.

However, Attorney General K K Venugopal said the last date for linking Aadhaar to mobile services   will remain 6 February 2018 in pursuance of a judicial order.

On Thursday, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) reiterated that the deadlines it has set for verifying bank accounts, PAN cards and mobile SIM cards with the biometric identity number are “valid and lawful”.  The UIDAI clarified that there was no change in the deadline and that the Supreme Court had not imposed a stay order on its decision.

Some petitioners in the top court have termed the linking of the Aadhaar number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as “illegal and unconstitutional”. As of November, 13.28 crore out of 33 crore PANs have been linked to Aadhaar.

The petitioners have also objected to the CBSE’s alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.

Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 196,1 makes it mandatory for all taxpayers having Aadhaar or enrolment number to link the same with PAN. However, non-resident Indians, people who are not citizens of India, those above 80 years of age and residents of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir are exempt from the requirement.