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Supreme Court defers hearing on plea challenging mandatory use of Aadhaar

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-05-2017 Apurva Vishwanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred hearing a plea challenging the Aadhaar Act and the mandatory use of the unique identification number in at least 17 government schemes.

A bench comprising justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha also directed the court registry to list all cases seeking a stay on mandatory use of Aadhaar together for 27 June.

Child rights activist and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Shanta Sinha has moved the apex court arguing that some of the schemes for which Aadhaar is mandatory fall outside the purview of the law governing it.

The government raised objections to the cases being heard urgently. The government’s top law officer, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, said the case needs to be heard by a bench of at least five judges.

In August 2015, a three-judge bench referred the issue of whether an Indian citizen enjoys a fundamental right to privacy, which critics argue will be violated by Aadhaar, to a larger constitution bench which is yet to be constituted.

Last week, chief justice J.S. Khehar directed that a two-judge bench could hear the case for granting interim relief since a larger bench cannot be constituted immediately.

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