wnol.info March 23 2018

Aadhaar Case Updates: Supreme Court, Mamata Banerjee & More

March 23 2018, 01:29 | Irvin Gilbert

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Earlier, final hearing in the main Aadhaar matter was necessary, contended Divan, appearing for some of the petitioners.

The Centre hinted that those who have Aadhaar will have to link with government welfare schemes by December 2017.

However, Venugopal had told the bench that he would take instructions on certain issues on Aadhaar after which the court had asked him to mention the matter again on October 30. As many as 100 government notifications on Aadhaar were under challenge, he said.

Among these challenges are those involving making Aadhaar mandatory for social welfare benefits, infringement of the right to privacy, and making Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns and for obtaining and retaining a permanent account number, or PAN. "We will entertain her as an individual", it said. "It can be challenged by individuals, but how a state has come (to court)?"

On a plea filed by Raghav Tankha challenging mandatory linking of Aadhaar with mobile phone numbers, the Supreme Court sought Centre's response within four weeks and also issued a notice to telecom companies.

Earlier in the court, a separate bench pulled up West Bengal for challenging the Centre's decision to link Aadhaar for giving subsidies, wondering how could a state government could challenge a law passed by the central government.

The apex court was told by the Centre on October 25 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail the benefits of the government schemes has been extended till March 31 next year. The court did not say it rejected the plea.

The Bench expressed its annoyance, observing "let an individual come to us".

Various critics of the programme have approached the Supreme Court arguing that the government can profile Indians and spy on them as it made the disclosure of Aadhaar a pre-requisite for all financial transactions, including tax returns and bank loans.

Banerjee had previously said that the state is keeping an eye on how the diagnostic centres and pathological laboratories are handling the dengue crisis.

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