Attorney General told the apex court that important questions are being raised and they need to be heard by a larger bench
New Delhi: The Union government on Tuesday sought to refer several petitions challenging the government’s Unique Identification (UID) or Aadhaar scheme to a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that important questions are being raised and they need to be heard by a larger bench.
The nature of questions and the impact on the governance of this country is huge. The stakes are too high.The sweep is so large,” Rohatgi said.
The court will hear further submissions on reference on Wednesday.
A bench comprising J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde and C. Nagappan has begun hearing the petitions, one of which seeks directions to stop the government from implementing the UID project.
Lawyer Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners, told the court that the Aadhaar scheme has the potential to tilt the balance of power between the government and the individuals, and gave immense scope for surveillance and breach of privacy of individuals. He said the scheme was merely an executive move, without statutory backing or regulatory oversight.
As per an apex court ruling in September 2013, Aadhaar cards cannot be made mandatory to avail of benefits from social security schemes like cooking gas subsidy.