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SC Constitution bench to hear Aadhaar challenge on privacy issue

13 July 2017

There seems to be a fair chance the bench will refer the issue to a larger bench, given that only two days have been set aside for the hearing later this month.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, supported by Attorney General KK Venugopal, will request the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar to constitute a five-judge bench, or a larger one, to hear privacy issues connected with the Aadhaar matter. They claimed that Aadhaar compromised with their right to privacy as it mandated people to part with body details, including iris and biometrics.

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The Delhi government on Tuesday asked the Chief Justice of India for an early setting up of a Constitution Bench to hear its appeal on whether the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) can unilaterally administer the Capital unfettered by the "aid and advice" of the elected government.

It was argued that Aadhaar card is an invasion of privacy and a bad violation of basic human rights.

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Hence, Mr. Venugopal suggested that it has to be first decided whether the petitions should be referred to a Bench of nine judges for hearing and decision. I can only say that a matter can be disposed of by a nine-judge bench. The hearings will commence on July 18.

Petitions have been field in the apex court challenging several government notifications mandating Aadhaar for availing benefits under various social welfare schemes.

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The court had observed that no interim order could be passed merely on the apprehensions raised by the petitioners that somebody might be deprived of the benefits under the various social welfare schemes due to the lack of Aadhaar, especially when no such affected person had come before it.

SC Constitution bench to hear Aadhaar challenge on privacy issue