Aadhaar-linked issues to be decided by Supreme Court

Aadhaar-linked issues to be decided by Supreme Court”

A three-judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar told the counsel, appearing for a group of Aadhaar challengers, and Venugopal, representing the Union government, to seek from the Chief Justice of India a larger bench to decide on the main question of the right to privacy.

The three-judge bench, which also included Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha, asked the Attorney-General and the petitioner's counsel to jointly urge the Chief Justice of India to form a Constitution bench at the earliest to hear the matter.

The observation was made when the Aadhaar issue came up for hearing in front of the full bench in pursuance of a June 27 order delivered by a vacation bench.

"My opinion is that once a matter has been referred to a Constitution Bench, then all the issues arising out of it should be with the Constitution Bench".

Seeking stay on government's notification mandatorily linking Aadhaar to nearly all public utility services despite the apex court's categorical orders that no citizen could be forced to enrol for the UIDAI number, petitioners' counsel Shyam Divan said the NDA government's eagerness to monitor each activity of every citizen reminded him of the Emergency imposed by a totalitarian government in 1977.

The litigation over Indian state's decision to impose "Aadhaar", a controversial move to record variety of personal data of all Citizens, took a dramatic turn in the Supreme Court of India when the petitioners alleged that the Indian subcontinent was reduced to "concentration camp". "How can they say India is a concentration camp?"

"It seems that we are in a totalitarian regime where people are being forcefully tagged and tracked by the government", said Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, while referring to the current situation.

School children - minors who have not yet grasped the concept of choice - are being made to register their attendance via thumbprints, Divan said.

Various petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhar are pending before the apex court.

However, the apex court said that no further orders would be issued in this regard till the Supreme Court decides the matter.

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