New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to set up a Constitution bench next week to hear the issue of stay against mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers etc.
The matter was mentioned before a bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra who said that the court would take it up in the week to come.
Shyam Divan, senior advocate and one of the petitioners, urged the court for an interim stay in line with the court’s order of 30 October under which the Constitution bench was supposed to begin hearing the various challenges against Aadhaar this week.
On 30 October, the apex court referred all Aadhaar cases to a five-judge Constitution bench to be formed by the end of November.
Till such time as the court sets up the Constitution bench and passes orders, the government can continue to use Aadhaar for its various programmes.
The court had earlier tagged 22 cases to be heard by a smaller bench. The cases challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.
Two new pleas challenging Aadhaar—one by the West Bengal government on the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various schemes and another challenging its mandatory linking with mobile numbers—have also been brought to court.
On 25 October, the centre had told the court that it was willing to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various schemes to 31 March next year. It, however, clarified that this would apply only to those who have not yet enrolled for Aadhaar. At the next hearing, it did a rethink, saying it was unwilling to extend the deadline, and instead sought early hearing of the matter.