5-judge SC bench will hear Aad­haar

Hear­ing to be­gin on all mat­ters in last week of Nov

DNA (Delhi) - - DNA - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­dent@dnain­dia.net

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.

SC says Ma­mata can pitch her plea as an in­di­vidial

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