AAP requests CJI to set up constitution bench

Aadhaar Constitution Bench Supreme Court Aadhaar Aadhaar right to privacy

A bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud agreed to set up the larger bench for hearing on July 18 on a "mention" made by attorney-general K.K. Venugopal and senior counsel Shyam Divan pleading for early listing of the matter.

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.

Two main grievances with the Aadhaar Act include the Centre's move to make it mandatory for social schemes and the aspect of right to privacy. They claimed that Aadhaar compromised with their right to privacy as it mandated people to part with body details, including iris and biometrics.

During the hearing, Mr. Venugopal highlighted two judgments of the court - M.P. Sharma and Kharak Singh of 1954 and 1963, respectively, both of which had held that Article 21of the Constitution, including the right to privacy, was subject to reasonable restrictions. Hence a five judge bench can not hear the matter, he also said. It would then be decided whether a nine judge Bench would be required to hear the matter, the court also said.

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The court however said that the 5 judge will have to weigh in the Aadhaar issue with the decision of the 8n judge Bench.

The five-judge would begin the hearing from July 18.

Petitions have been field in the apex court challenging several government notifications mandating Aadhaar for availing benefits under various social welfare schemes. The government had, however, said no one would be deprived of any benefit because of Aadhaar.

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