Five-Judge Constitution Bench To Hear Aadhaar Petitions On July 18,19 : SC

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There seems to be a fair chance the bench will refer the issue to a larger bench, given that only two days have been set aside for the hearing later this month.

Challenging the constitutionality of the Aadhaar project, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will hear a bunch of petitions.

The SC said the Constitution Bench will sit on July 18 and 19 to hear matters related to Aadhaar.

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The batch of seven special leave petitions filed by the Delhi government has challenged the Delhi High Court's decision to uphold the L-G's power not only over the police, land and public order but also in "services". Petitioners cited finger prints and iris scan among the personal details that are collected as a violation of right to privacy.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice J Chelameswar had on July 7 told the counsel, appearing for a group of Aadhaar challengers, and Venugopal, representing the Union government, to seek setting up a larger bench to decide the main issue relating to the right to privacy.

It was argued that Aadhaar card is an invasion of privacy and a awful violation of basic human rights. Hence a five judge bench can not hear the matter, he also said.

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

A vacation bench of Supreme Court refused to pass an interim order against Centre's notification making Aadhaar compulsory in order to avail social schemes and welfare benefits.

A Bench led by Justice A.K. Sikri had in February referred the appeals to the Chief Justice to constitute a Constitution Bench of the appropriate number of judges. It said about 115 crore people had already been issued Aadhaar card and by this method lakhs of fake ration cardholders had been eliminated and Rs. 56,000 crore had been saved.

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