5-judge Constitution Bench to hear Aadhaar pleas on July 18-19

The matter was mentioned before the CJI as a three-judge bench had on July 7 said that all issues arising out of Aadhaar should finally be decided by a larger bench

Published: 12th July 2017 11:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2017 08:46 AM   |  A+A-

PTI file image of Aadhaar Card

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After 21 months, the Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to take a call on the right of privacy of an individual and said that its five-judge Constitution Bench would hear the case on July 18 and 19.

The case had been referred to the Constitution Bench in October 2015 and since then it remained pending despite several attempts by petitioners pressing for early hearing of the case.

The issue that the court would be deciding is whether sharing the biometric details of individuals for access to welfare and benefits under the scheme is a violation of the right to privacy or not.

This comes at a time when Aadhaar has become a vital tool for availing government’s welfare schemes, filing of Income Tax returns and other financial transactions.

Wednesday’s development comes days after a Bench headed by Justice J Chelameshwar had requested Centre and petitioners to mention the case before the Chief Justice for constituting the Bench.

The case was mentioned before a Bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud on Wednesday which said that its five-judge Constitution Bench would hear Aadhaar-related matters on July 18 and 19.

The Bench would also decide if the issue should be decided by a larger Bench.

Attorney General KK Venugopal and senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for petitioners who have challenged government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for various public welfare schemes, jointly mentioned the matter before the Bench and requested that there should be an early hearing by the Constitution Bench.

The AG insisted that millions of people were involved in the Aadhaar scheme, and earlyhearing by the Bench is the need of the hour.

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