Constitution bench may consider Aadhaar plea next week

Constitution bench may consider Aadhaar plea next week

On October 30, the bench - which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it would hear the matter in November - nearl

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On October 30, the bench – which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it would hear the matter in November – nearly five years after the first plea challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar was filed.

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted that the government is willing to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile number to March 31, 2018, but it would be “on the same terms and conditions”.

Attorney General K K Venugopal opposed the submission, saying that such an interim order can not be passed in a matter of “national importance”. “Even an interlocutory order can only be passed by the constitution bench”, the top court said and asked the lawyers to mention the matters once the five-judge bench concluded hearing on appeals of Delhi government challenging a high court order that the lieutenant governor was the administrative head of the capital. The bench indicated that once that hearing gets over, the constitution bench would hear the batch of petitions on Aadhaar. According to the Hindustan Times, a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, said only a Constitution bench can pass any interim stay order. It, however, clarified that this would apply only to those who have not yet enrolled for Aadhaar.

In the previous hearing, the government had softened its stand saying that it would not insist on those already having Aadhaar to link it with their bank accounts and mobile phones before March 31.

Giving relief to a number of bank account holders and mobile phone users, the government has made a decision to extend the deadline for linking the aadhaar number till March 31st. The cases challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.

They had also objected to the CBSE’s alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre.

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