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The Supreme Court ruled on Friday (May 19) that all interlocutory applications (IA) seeking interim relief against Aadhaar being made mandatory should be clubbed together and heard by the apex court. It deferred the hearing on petition against the centre’s notifications making Aadhaar compulsory for getting the benefit of several welfare schemes. It also asked the centre to file a response to the IA petitions within two weeks. The matter will now come up before the top court on June 27.

Earlier, several arguments from senior advocate Shyam Divan appearing for the petitioners, Shanta Sinha and Kalyani Singh, were heard by a bench. It also heard submissions from Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Centre.

India Legal collates some of the contentions during the proceedings:

Mukul Rohatgi wanted the matter to be heard by a constitution bench only. He said that the petition was filed by two people, pleading on behalf of 125 crore population who could enjoy the benefits of 40 government schemes. But none of them came to the court.

Shyam Divan pleaded for interim relief in response to the petition said that several interlocutory applications were listed earlier before the court but deleted by the registry. He said that he had come to the court on Chief Justice of India’s directions and had no problem if all IAs were clubbed together.

The court was very clear in its stand that Aadhaar should be voluntary. It observed that the state instead of respecting this sanctity, issued further notifications to the contrary. It felt that the case was important as it was affecting the right to privacy of citizens.

—India Legal Bureau

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