Mobile phone-Aadhaar link: Supreme Court issues notice to Centre

Mamata Banerjee

Constitution Bench To Be Set Up By SC To Hear Aadhaar Pleas Challenging the Centre's decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing various services and government welfare schemes, the Supreme Court said, on Monday that a constitution bench would be setup to hear a clutch of petitions.

Earlier, the court pulled up the West Bengal government for challenging the Aadhaar Act. "In a federal structure, how can a state file a plea challenging Parliament's mandate". The court said, if state Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee files a plea as individual, it will be entertained.

The apex court said that Mamata Banerjee can challenge it in individual capacity but how can a state challenge a law passed by the centre.

"Under no circumstances will I link my Aadhaar with my telephone number".

The apex court on February 6 had asked the Centre to put in place within a year an effective mechanism to scrutinise the details of identity of over 100 crore existing and future mobile telephone consumers. The Centre was given four weeks to respond.

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The validity of Aadhaar law has been challenged by a batch of petitioners, including former Karnataka High Court Judge K.S. Puttaswamy, Magsaysay awardee Shanta Sinha, and feminist researcher Kalyani Sen Menon. "You satisfy us how the state has challenged it". Let an individual come, let Mamata Banerjee come.

On August 24, a nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

The Centre had, on October 25, told the top court that the deadline for mandatory Aadhaar linking to avail benefits of various government schemes has been extended till March 31 next year.

Venugopal said on Monday the Centre had prepared an affidavit outlining the uses of Aadhaar and how the government is working towards implementing the scheme without any glitches. While the critics of Aadhaar welcomed the ruling, the government argued against it saying that right to privacy comes with reasonable restrictions, and Aadhar should be included.

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