SC asks petitioners challenging Aadhaar ordinance to move HC
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar ordinance, brought by the Centre, and told the petitioners to approach a high court on the matter.
“We would like to have advantage of view of the HC,” a bench of justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer told the petitioners’ counsel.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for one of the petitioners, told the bench that it was a matter of “national importance” and would have a pan-India effect. He contended the top court should decide the issue.
But the bench said that it was not saying it did not have the power to entertain this. On this, the petitioners then sought permission to withdraw their pleas with a liberty to approach the high court.
The ordinance that allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as identity proof for obtaining mobile SIM cards and opening bank accounts was accorded Presidential assent last month. The government took the ordinance route because Rajya Sabha could not approve a Bill, making amendments to the existing Aadhaar law, after the Lok Sabha passed it.
The amendments provide for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy. It also prohibits storing of core biometric information as well as Aadhaar number by service providers in cases of individuals who have voluntarily offered the national ID as a means of authentication.