Aadhaar For Welfare Schemes: SC Adjourns Hearing To June 27, Centre Says No Extension Of June 30 Deadline [Read Order]

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi representing the Centre today told the Supreme Court that there is no question of extending the June 30 deadline for making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes

Before a vacation bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha, Rohatgi said the whole idea behind making Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes was that the benefit should not go to ghosts as was noticed in schemes like the public distribution system (PDS).

He also raised preliminary objection to the plea seeking interim relief and challenging various notifications issued by the Centre and told a bench, comprising Justices, that this matter should be listed for hearing before a five-judge constitution bench.

“Earlier some pleas seeking identical interim reliefs were also filed and those matters were pending before the apex court”, Rohatgi said.

The bench said it would be appropriate to hear all these pleas seeking interim relief together to avoid multiplicity and fixed the matter for hearing on June 27.

When the bench was considering whether to list the matter for hearing during the summer vacation, senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, said there was urgency involved in it and if the matter was not heard before June 30, the other way was if they (Centre) extend the deadline.

There is no question of that, Rohatgi said. The court, which directed that all these pleas seeking interim relief should be listed before it on June 27, allowed the Centre to file a counter to the plea within three weeks.

“Our attention was invited to (this) … that the applications filed in other writ petitions pending in this court may involve similar issues which will have to be considered…In our opinion, it is appropriate to hear these applications, having overlapping issues, together to avoid multiplicity of hearing on the same subject matter”, it said.

At the outset, Rohatgi said identical interim reliefs were sought in a plea filed around six months ago in the apex court and it was tagged with the main petition which would be heard by a constitution bench. There are batch of pleas in this matter. In the first round, a bench of three-judges heard the matter. Thereafter, when the Centre was seeking some modification on the order passed by the court, the matter was listed before a five-judge bench.

Read the Order here.

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