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1-min read

CJI Khehar to Head 5-judge Constitution Bench to Hear Aadhaar Case

Justices J Chelameswar, SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud & Abdul Nazeer will be the four other judges that will examine the plea against making Aadhaar mandatory.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 14, 2017, 11:52 PM IST
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CJI Khehar to Head 5-judge Constitution Bench to Hear Aadhaar Case
File photo of the Supreme Court building.
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New Delhi: Chief Justice of India JS Khehar will head a five-judge Constitution bench to examine a plethora of issues arising out of the Aadhaar identification system, including whether the unique identity number invades the right to privacy.

The Supreme Court notified the bench on Friday. Justices J Chelameswar, SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud & Abdul Nazeer will be the four other judges that will examine the plea against making Aadhaar mandatory on July 18-19.

The matter was earlier mentioned before a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, as on July 7, a three-judge bench had said that all issues arising out of Aadhaar should finally be decided by a larger bench, preferably comprising five judges.

Attorney General K K Venugopal and senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners who have challenged the Centre's 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.

Venugopal told the bench that an eight-judge bench of the apex court had earlier held that right to privacy was not a fundamental right and its five-judge Constitution Bench would have to examine whether the matter was required to be referred to a nine-judge bench.

A two-judge bench of the apex court had on June 27 refused to pass an interim order against the Centre's notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of social welfare schemes, with the government assuring it that no one would be deprived for want of this identification.

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.

The apex court was hearing three petitions challenging the government's notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes.

Earlier, the apex court had passed a slew of orders asking the government and its agencies not to make Aadhaar mandatory for extending benefits of their welfare schemes. The apex court, however, had allowed the Centre to seek Aadhaar card voluntarily from citizens for extending benefits of schemes like LPG subsidy, Jan Dhan scheme and Public Distribution System.

| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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