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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

SC to decide basis of Aadhaar, SC/ST quota in promotions and live streaming from courts today

The Supreme Court will rule on constitutional validity of Aadhaar, for a rethink of its judgment on SC/ST quotas in promotions among five major verdicts expected today

india Updated: Sep 26, 2018 09:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court is likely to deliver on Wednesday several significant verdicts including the constitutional validity of Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme, reservations in promotions for SC/ST government employees and whether an appellate court’s stay on conviction of a disqualified lawmakers would revive their membership of parliament or legislatures .

The apex court will decide on the plea of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel against the Gujarat high court order refusing to quash a Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s petition against his election to the Rajya Sabha and on whether there should be live streaming of court proceedings.

A five-judge bench will decide on Wednesday on the constitutionality of Aadhaar, the controversial biometric identity card project that the government claims plugged leaks in welfare schemes but which critics dub as intrusive and violating privacy.

The constitution bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, justice AK Sikri, justice AM Khanwilkar, justice DY Chandrachud and justice Ashok Bhushan, reserved its verdict on May 10 after hearing the petitions for over 38 days starting January 17 this year.

More than 30 petitions have challenged the Aadhaar act and government orders that made it compulsory for linking of bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, permanent account numbers and filing of income taxes to the unique ID number and that it violated the right to privacy which the court confirmed as a fundamental right in a nine-judge bench verdict in August 2017

The court will also decide whether the government was right in passing the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial & Other Subsidies, Benefits & Services) Bill in March 2016 as a money bill, which meant that only the Lok Sabha (where the government has a comfortable majority) had voting rights, without the assent of the Rajya Sabha (where the government is in a minority).

For the government, attorney general KK Venugopal made the case that the Aadhaar law complied with the tests laid down in this 2017 judgment on privacy and was a fair, just and a reasonable law with adequate safeguards, in pursuance of a larger public interest, including preventing dissipation of social welfare benefits, and for prevention of black money and money laundering.

Among the other cases that are likely to be decided are the petition by NGO Lok Prahari matter seeking clarification on the issue whether disqualification of convicted law makers kicks in immediately after the pronouncement or is it necessary for a parliamentary or assembly secretariat to issue a formal notification for the purpose and the batch of petitions demanding reconsideration of the 2006 Nagaraj judgement, which held that state was not bound to provide reservation for SC/STs in promotions.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 07:51 IST

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