NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it will not extend the June 30 deadline for making Aadhaar mandatory for availing of benefits of various social welfare schemes.
During an hour-long hearing, Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohtagi termed the Aadhaar system as the best system for welfare schemes, so that its benefit reaches real people and not the ghosts as witnessed in other schemes before Aadhaar system came in.
The AG raised objections before the Bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha that earlier also some pleas seeking identical interim relief were filed and those matters were pending before the apex court and this matter should be listed for hearing before a five-judge Constitution Bench.
The Bench agreed with the AG and said it would be appropriate to hear all the pleas seeking interim relief together to avoid multiplicity and fixed the matter for hearing on June 27.
However, senior advocate Shyam Divan appearing on behalf of two civil rights activists Shantha Sinha and Kalyani Menon Sen told the Bench that if the case is not heard before June 30, then it will lose its significance and said it is often an untimely listing of cases by the registry that creates more confusion.
Divan said that on May 12, he had mentioned the matter before a Bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar which had said it would be listed before an appropriate Bench though it did not happen.
This led the Bench to assure Divan, “Courts are always available for common citizens. This court is open to all.”
The AG also reminded the court of the historic pre-dawn hearing in the apex court in the Yakub Memon matter and said he was called by the court at 2 am for hearing the case.
Countering the AG’s submission that various pleas are being filed by petitioners, Divan said, “Centre too had subsequently issued a series of notifications making Aadhaar mandatory for schemes.”