SC Constitution Bench to hear Aadhaar pleas in end-November (Second Lead)

Aaron Brown
October 31, 2017

The Supreme Court said that by that logic, the Centre too can challenge the rules framed by the state government, and asked Mamata Banerjee to file the petition in individual capacity.

He said the West Bengal government has challenged the provision which says that without Aadhaar, the benefits of social welfare schemes would not be extended.

The court also issued notices to the telecom companies insisting on the mandatory linking of mobile with Aadhaar.

As the head of a state government, Mamata Banerjee is out of line for challenging the mandatory use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes, the Supreme Court said today, rebuking the West Bengal Chief Minister. Modi government passed a mandate on Aadhaar card making it mandatory for receiving the benefits of various social welfare schemes. The court further asked how a state can challenge the mandate of Parliament.

The court said this after Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the bench that the Centre had filed a detailed affidavit refuting all the allegations on expanding the area under Aadhaar linkage.

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Various critics of the programme have approached the Supreme Court arguing that the government can profile Indians and spy on them as it made the disclosure of Aadhaar a pre-requisite for all financial transactions, including tax returns and bank loans.

A Bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan quizzed Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for West Bengal, on how the state could resort to such a measure.

The larger bench would start hearing on these petitions in the last week of November this year, said a bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. Earlier, the deadline for linking of Aadhaar was December end this year.

However, Mr. Venugopal had agreed to take instructions on certain issues on Aadhaar after which the court had asked him to mention the matter again on October 30, notes The Hindu. The court has given all respondents in the case four weeks time to file their reply.

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