Constitution bench to hear petitions on Aadhaar from July 17

Posted July 13, 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.

In 2015, a five-judge bench led by the then Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu, had directed all matters pertaining to the privacy issue related to Aadhaar to a Constitution bench.

The petitions were filed after Centre notified making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of social welfare schemes.

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The five-judge would begin the hearing from July 18. The petitioners had alleged that collection of personal details like finger prints and iris scan violated the right to privacy.

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. In 1954 and 1964, Supreme Court benches ruled that there was no fundamental right to privacy. The Bench in their decision said every person eligible to obtain Aadhar card must quote their Aadhar number or their Aadhar Enrolment ID number for the filing of Income Tax Returns as well as for applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN). Hence a five judge bench can not hear the matter, he also said.

The court has to also consider the question whether the appeals would have to be heard by an 11-judge Bench of the Supreme Court. The government had, however, said no one would be deprived of any benefit because of Aadhaar.