5-judge SC bench will hear Aadhaar
Hearing to begin on all matters in last week of Nov
New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Monday that it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear all Aadhaar-related cases in the last week of November, five years after the first plea challenging the constitutional validity of the 12-digit unique identification number scheme was filed.
The decision was taken by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra after Attorney General KK Venugopal sought a hearing in March. Several petitions, including those against the government’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for social benefits and other schemes, have been pending since the top court referred the matter to a larger bench almost two years ago.
Gopal Subramanium and Shyam Divan, representing petitioners challenging Aadhaar, sought an interim stay on the linking of the identification number to bank accounts and mobile phones. Venugopal opposed the plea and submitted that the Central government was ready to argue its case.
The government’s top law officer said that several falsehoods on Aadhaar were being spread. Two benches are hearing at least three Aadhaar cases.
Recently, a nine-judge Constitution bench had held that the Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had raised the issue that the scheme was violative of privacy rights.
On Wednesday, the Central government proposed extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN cards and mobile phones from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but only to those who are “willing to enroll for the identification number.
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