Aadhaar Card row: SC assures decision by tomorrow on larger bench plea

During the brief hearing, Harish Salve suggested to the bench that instead of a nine-judge bench, a bench of five judges can be constituted to decide the applications seeking modification of the earlier order.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: October 9, 2015 12:12 am
aadhaar card, aadhaar card case, supreme court, aadhaar card supreme court, pds scheme, lpg scheme, aadhaar card lpg scheme, aadhaar card pds scheme, lpg, pds, india news, latest news The court had made it clear that all applications seeking “modification, clarification and relaxation” of its August 11 interim order will be heard by a Constitution Bench.

While the restriction on linking of Aadhaar to the government’s ambitious schemes has put the Centre in a spot, it has also left the Chief Justice of India anxious over the need to get nine judges together to hear the contentious case.

“The question is, do I have nine judges to spare? How do I spare nine judges? What happens to the other pending matters then? Will I be wasting my other judges by asking them to sit only for chamber hearing matters?,” said Chief Justice H L Dattu on Thursday.

Later in the evening, a notification announced the setting up of a constitution bench that will hear the case on October 14. But it did not specify the number of judges on the bench.

Share This Article
Related Article

A bunch of senior lawyers, including Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Harish Salve, Pinky Anand and Jayant Bhushan, had showed up before the CJI, asking him to urgently constitute a proper bench to take up the matters related to Aadhaar. The lawyers represented the Centre, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Reserve Bank of India and various government regulators for securities, insurance, telecom and pension.

The “urgency” was triggered by Wednesday’s order by a three-judge bench that refused to modify a directive restricting Aadhaar’s use to public distribution system (PDS) and LPG subsidy.

Dashing the government’s hopes of linking Aadhaar with Digital India initiative, and services like banking and telecom, the bench had declined to alter its August 11 order till a Constitution Bench looked into the issue relating to the right to privacy involved in collection of biometrics for Aadhaar cards.

On Thursday, Rohatgi, along with other lawyers, mentioned the matter before CJI Dattu. “We intend to bring the delivery of social benefit schemes to the doorsteps of the poor people. But this is now being sought to be stalled by a few who are raising the right to privacy issues,” said Rohatgi.

Noting that the question of whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right or not was last dealt with by a bench comprising eight judges, Justice Dattu said: “Once it is an eight-judge bench judgment, how can it go to a bench comprising lesser number of judges. But the question is, do I have nine judges to spare?”

The CJI further added: “Even today two judges are on leave and their brother judges are taking up matters in chamber. If we constitute a nine-judge bench, I will have to make other judges sit in chamber too. I will be wasting my judges by doing it.”

After this, Rohatgi and Salve pleaded with the CJI to constitute a five-judge bench only for the purpose of hearing them on the modification of the interim order, adding that the constitutional questions regarding the right to privacy can be taken up by a nine-judge bench later.

But senior advocate Shyam Divan, who represented a petitioner challenging the validity of Aadhaar, told the CJI that the interim order cannot be modified without delving into the right to privacy issue. He opposed a plea to have the matter heard by a bench consisting of less than nine judges.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. S
    Oct 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm
    Tomorrow's judgement today: The supeme Corrupt(SC) agreed to all the requests by GOI in return the judges have been ured POST RETIREMENT PLUM POSITIONS AS CHORMAN OF NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, CHIRMAN OF PRESS COUNCIL OF INDIA, GOVERNOR POSTS. Enjoy Indian FOOLS.
    1. c
      Oct 8, 2015 at 12:39 pm
      Government should close all the loop s while issuing the Aadhaar card. Also should start registering the names and record the finger prints of every new born in India. One should again update their fingers print at the age of 5 and 18 years i.e. before joining the school and before getting voting rights. This will be useful in solving the criminal cases and also security wise important.
      1. Francis Anthony
        Oct 8, 2015 at 1:07 pm
        It is very unfortunate that Aadhar card started with lots of promise but soon ended up as yet another card. The w issue went into confusion because of so many cards in circulation, ration card, election card, PAN card and Aadhar card. It makes sense if there is just one card with a unique identifier for all services. There is no doubt that identifying every citizen with unique identifier has more advantages than disadvantages. It will help in faster delivery of service when all services are integrated. Implementation is always a herculean task considering the huge potion of India. But, if it can be implemented successfully in USA, a country which has comparable potion, it can also succeed in India. All it needs is, a good implementable plan, concerted effort from all parties concerned and most importantly the intent, sincerity and honesty to succeed.
        1. A
          Oct 8, 2015 at 2:15 pm
          Are our courts scared of smart card based information technology? Order for not making Aaadhar compulsory will make India downgrade at international and national levels since with one scratch or scan, Indian citizen is able to prove his/her ideny easily. Otherwise what is our typical practice is to wait at the mercy of red tape, paperwork and inefficient mindset bureaucrats to obtain such records from them by running after running in the offices. NGO's and other people scared of digital world information out of privacy matter, are forget conveniently that when modern technology and communication techniques can collect all information about a person, including his privacy, in any country! Our idenies in India are determined by power, position and money. However poor people are hled by the above groups and denied justice at every sector. Aaadhar is a first step towards a national record of digital data to ideny India’s poor people. The government must amend the consution to make it Aaadhar mandatory for all citizens ID card since all civilized countries accept a single National ID card for citizen’s ideny purposes.
          1. R
            Oct 8, 2015 at 2:33 pm
            Aadhaar card does not have a legal backing. There is no legislation. Who will be responsible if Aadhaar data is misused?
            1. Load More Comments