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SC rejects review of its verdict upholding Aadhaar scheme


New Delhi, Jan 20: The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea seeking review of its 2018 verdict upholding Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid.

A five-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and L Nageswara Rao, heard a batch of review pleas in-chambers by which they had challenged the September 26, 2018 verdict.

SC rejects review of its verdict upholding Aadhaar scheme

Justice D Y Chandrachud, one of the five judges on the bench, dissented with the majority order rejecting pleas seeking review of the verdict.

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The written submissions filed by senior advocate Shyam Divan on behalf of petitioners sought open court hearing of the review pleas and said they have challenged the correctness of the judgment on the ground that the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016 was incorrectly certified as a Money Bill by the Speaker of Lok Sabha.

"It is submitted that Aadhaar failed to meet the strict standard laid out in Article 110 (1). For a legislation that has serious implications on the rights of citizens to be passed without consideration of Rajya Sabha is nothing but a fraud on the Constitution, as the minority judgement notes," the written submission filed through advocate Vipin Nair said.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax Return and allotment of permanent account number (PAN), it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and the telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.

In a 4-1 verdict that also quashed some contentious provisions of the Aadhaar Act, the top court, however, had held Aadhaar would remain compulsory for filing of Income Tax Return (ITR) and allotment of a permanent account number (PAN) and for availing facilities of welfare schemes and government subsidies.

Justice D Y Chandrachud, who was part of the bench had given a dissenting judgement in which he ruled the Aadhaar Act should not have been passed as Money Bill as it amounts to fraud on the Constitution and is liable to be struck down.

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