Constitution bench may consider Aadhaar plea next week

Constitution bench may consider Aadhaar plea next week

Constitution bench may consider Aadhaar plea next week

The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it may consider hearing next week a batch of PILs challenging mandatory linking of Aadhaar to bank accounts, mobile phones and for availing benefits of other welfare schemes.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also clarified that any interim order on the issue would be passed by the Constitution bench only.

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".

The government had earlier stated that the deadline would be extended from December 31 to March 31, 2018, for citizens who do not have the 12-digit unique number. However, "those having Aadhaar would be required to seed it with SIM cards, bank accounts and others schemes," it had said.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the petitioners, sought urgent listing of the matter for passing at least an interim order. Divan pointed out that the matter was earlier directed to be considered by the end of November.

He also mentioned a previous two-judge bench order posting the matter before the Constitution bench and giving liberty to seek interim order if the five-judge bench is not set up by the end of November.

Venugopal, however, maintained that no interim order can be passed without a detailed hearing as more than 100 crore people have already been issued Aadhaar cards in the country.

"The Constitution bench will consider grant of any interim relief next week," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said. A Constitution bench is at the moment hearing a batch of appeals pertaining to Delhi vs the Lt governor.