The Supreme Court on Monday asked the West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, to file the petition challenging the mandatory linking of Aadhaar cards to mobile numbers in her individual capacity.
The apex court observed as to how a state could challenge a law passed by the Centre. The West Bengal government will now make necessary amendments in its petition before filing the petition again.
Kapil Sibal was representing the Bengal government. The Bengal petition, along with Raghav Tankha’s case challenging the linking of Aadhaar to mobile phones, was taken up separately from a batch of 22 petitions heard by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, reported NDTV. These were referred to the constitution bench, which will start hearing the petitions in the last week of November.
Meanwhile, the SC has also issued notices to the Centre and telcom companies asking them to file their responses on the matter.
Banerjee had last week announced that she will not link her Aadhaar number to her mobile phone adding that she would rather have her mobile disconnected.
While addressing her Trinamool Congress party’s core committee meeting, the West Bengal CM had said defiantly, “I will not link Aadhaar with my phone, if they want to disconnect my phone, let them.”
Her government had later challenged the mandatory Aadhaar rules in the Supreme Court, which heard the matter today.
According to a government notice in March this year, all phone users have to link their Aadhaar card numbers to their mobile phones to avoid disconnection. The Aadhaar number is also essential for subscribers going for new SIMs.
However, later in the year, the Supreme Court had ruled the right to privacy was a fundamental rigght, a verdict that was widely perceived to be a huge blow to the Centre’s attempts to make Aadhar mandatory to have mobile connectivity and bank accounts. But the Supreme Court’s slow progress on hearing the matter means that people may be left with no choice but to be forced to link their Aadhaar in the new year.