Constitutional bench to hear Aadhaar Issues on Thursday

NEW DELHI: Finally the big day has arrived and the Supreme Court constitutional bench is set to hear the cases against the validity of making Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining various government services. The Supreme Court clarified that a constitutional bench would hear the petitions seeking a stay on ‘mandatory linking of Aadhaar’ on Thursday at 2 PM.
The Central government has already clarified to the apex court on December 7 that it is willing to extend the deadline for the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various services by March 31. Accordingly, it has released an official notification to this effect on Wednesday. Earlier, the last date for seeding Aadhaar with PAN and Bank accounts was December 31.
In October, the apex court has decided to set up a constitutional bench in order to validate the legality of Aadhaar being made mandatory with clusters of petitions reaching the Court against the government’s move. The main allegation of the petitioners was that the government is violating the right to privacy of individuals by forcing the citizens to link Aadhaar number with various services.
Interestingly, in a recent judgment, a nine-judge constitutional bench has ruled that right to privacy is a fundamental right and cannot be violated as per the will of the government. We will have to wait and see and how the constitutional bench reads this landmark judgment in view of the Aadhaar case tomorrow.
Aadhaar has been making headlines ever since the Central government started implementing its ideas of making it mandatory for all services. Recently, students criticized the government’s motion for making Aadhaar mandatory for appearing in CBSE exams. Petitioners are of the view that the government cannot compel the citizens to do a thing without his or her consent. It is now up to the Supreme Court to decide on this whole issue. Let us wait and see.