SC refuses interim order against Centre's notification on Aadhaar

SC refuses interim order against Centre's notification on Aadhaar
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the notifications making it mandatory for the people to cite Aadhaar number for availing benefits of various welfare schemes.
 
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha noted that there was no requirement to pass any order as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the deadline for giving Aadhaar number has been extended from June 30 to September 30.
 
“No mandamus can be issued merely on apprehension which may turn out to be correct or not correct,” the bench told senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for former National Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Shanta Sinha, who sought status quo on the notifications issued on February 8.
 
He insisted the court should pass some order to ensure that no child would be deprived of mid-day meal or other benefits due to absence of Aadhaar. The court, however, reminded the counsel that the government has already extended the deadline for those not having Aadhaar to obtain it for availing benefits of about 17 welfare schemes till September 30.
 
Mehta said the matter should be adjourned to the next week to enable the government to file rejoinder affidavit in the PIL filed by Sinha.
 
“What is the material to show that people have been deprived of the benefits after February 8 notifications...the state being a democratic welfare state is already saying nobody would be deprived of any benefit. All other alternative IDs are still valid,” the bench asked the petitioner.
 
“Nothing has happened since then. Can you show that heaven is going to fall if the notifications are not stayed,” the bench asked further the counsel, who said a statement must be recorded from the government's counsel in this regard. The court also relied upon June 9 judgement in the PIL filed by Binoy Viswam on linking of PAN with Aadhaar, to point out it was purely voluntary and nobody would be made to suffer in its absence.
 
Mehtra said if anybody is deprived of any benefit, the petitioner can approach the government. On this, the court even suggested the petitioner to collect figures to show if any child has been denied the benefit of mid-day meal scheme due to absence of Aadhaar.
 
During the hearing, the Centre's counsel also made preliminary objection to the matter being heard by a two-judge bench.
 
The court finally agreed to government's contention and put the matter for consideration on July 7.

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