Five-judge Constitution bench to hear Aadhaar pleas on Jul 18-19

Aadhaar‏/Facebook

Aadhaar‏/Facebook

Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, agreed on setting up a five-judge Constitution bench to probe the issues that are by-products of Aadhaar, especially the most discussed - right to privacy.

A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said on Wednesday the five-judge bench would hear the matter for two days.

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Last week, a three-judge bench refused to pass any interim order and said the issue had to be decided only by the Constitution bench.

Today, Attorney General K K Venugopal and senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners who have challenged the Centres move to make Aadhaar mandatory for various welfare schemes, jointly mentioned the matter before the bench and requested that there should be an early hearing in the matter by a Constitution Bench. It had also declined to stop functioning of a three-member panel set up by the then LG, Najeeb Jung, to scrutinize 400-odd files relating to decisions taken by the AAP government without his concurrence. Hence a five judge bench can not hear the matter, he also said. The court also indicated that the 5 judge Bench will commence hearing on the petitions from Tuesday, July 18 onwards.

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Petitions have been field in the apex court challenging several government notifications mandating Aadhaar for availing benefits under various social welfare schemes. With passage of the Aadhaar Act 2016, the government, which fortified its stand by giving legal backing to the executive schemes, had claimed 115.15 crore people already embraced the "socio-political tool" to seek benefits of various schemes.

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