A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will sit next week to examine a plethora of issues arising out of the Aadhaar identification system, including whether the unique identity number invades the right to privacy.
Last week, a three-judge bench refused to pass any interim order and said the issue had to be decided only by the Constitution bench.
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.
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".
The petition will be primarily whether the scheme that requires the parting of biometric details of citizens to access welfare and benefits, is a violation of their right.
It was argued that Aadhaar card is an invasion of privacy and a awful violation of basic human rights. The hearing was then fixed for July 18 by the Chief Justice. I can only say that a matter can be disposed of by a nine-judge bench.
The court has to also consider the question whether the appeals would have to be heard by an 11-judge Bench of the Supreme Court.
The question on the validity of Aadhaar scheme on the touchstone of whether privacy was fundamental right was referred to the constitution bench in October 2015. The government had, however, said no one would be deprived of any benefit because of Aadhaar.