SC junks West Bengal's plea against Aadhaar-Mobile linking

"Let Mamata Banerjee come in her individual capacity, if she so wishes", the court said.

The Supreme Court said on Monday a five-judge Constitution bench will hear a slew of petitions related to the validity of the Aadhaar identification number, including linking it to bank accounts and making it mandatory to avail social benefits.

The court asked how can a state file plea challenging Parliament's mandate in a federal structure.

The Union government will now have to submit its reply within four weeks.

While the Aadhaar card had been introduced by the previous UPA government, the current BJP-led government has been pushing for the card to be mandatory and linked to everything including the pan card, bank account, mobile phones, drivers license and even for children admission into schools.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the West Bengal government to modify its plea challenging the mandatory use of Aadhaar for various schemes. The government in turn, made it mandatory to link Aadhaar with mobile numbers.

Venugopal had said he would take instructions on certain issues on Aadhaar, after which the court had asked him to mention the matter again on October 30. The government has set the deadline for February 2018 for all the citizens to link their UIDs with their phone numbers.

Venugopal also told the court that falsehoods had being propagated against Aadhaar, including how linking it was a must for CBSE students to appear in Class 10 and 12 exams.

The issue is not there, as the court is hearing the matter in the last week of November, the Attorney General said.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee hosted dinner ceremony at the Eco Park in New Town on Friday. "This way Centre would start challenging the laws passed by the states", observed a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan. Meanwhile, the court issued notice to the Centre on a separate plea filed by an individual challenging the linking of mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar. The apex court instead directed the Counsel to amend its petition and file a fresh plea of the same.

  • Jon Douglas