Supreme Court refers all Aadhaar cases to Constitution bench
The government has argued that Aaadhar is necessary to plug leakages in its subsidy programmes and prevent corruption, and is pushing for its use in everything.india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 23:58 IST
The Supreme Court said on Monday a five-judge Constitution bench will hear a slew of petitions related to the validity of the Aadhaar identification number, including linking it to bank accounts and making it mandatory to avail social benefits.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said this after Attorney General K K Venugopal told the court that the government would be amenable to various Aadhaar cases pending before the court being decided by a Constitution bench, instead of the Supreme Court passing any interim orders.
Venugopal also told the court that falsehoods had being propagated against Aadhaar, including how linking it was a must for CBSE students to appear in Class 10 and 12 exams.
Last week, the bench had sought to know if action would be taken against people failing to link their Aadhaar with their bank accounts and mobile phone numbers by the government’s stipulated December 31 deadline. The government didn’t assure the court that coercive measures wouldn’t be taken.
But, on October 25, the Centre indicated that the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile numbers and other schemes for those who don’t have the number and are willing to go for it, may be extended till March 31.
Venugopal said on Monday the Centre had prepared an affidavit outlining the uses of Aadhaar and how the government is working towards implementing the scheme without any glitches. “We will provide over 100 notifications to you to prove it,” he said.
“There are eight interim orders that say the law is purely a voluntary scheme. If the government reiterates this (order) and makes a statement that there is no compulsion on the citizens we have no problems,” said senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for those opposing Aadhaar.
A nine-judge bench recently held that privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. Petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar claim it violates privacy rights.
The government has argued that Aaadhar is necessary to plug leakages in its subsidy programmes and prevent corruption, and is pushing for its use in everything.