How can state challenge Parliament's mandate: Supreme Court on Mamata govt's plea against Aadhaar

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Oct 30, 2017, 11:10 AM IST

Mamata Banerjee has opposed linking her mobile phone number with Aadhaar Photograph:(Others)

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The West Bengal government had filed the plea after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opposed the linking of her mobile phone number with Aadhaar

The Supreme Court has questioned the West Bengal government for filing plea against Centre’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of welfare schemes. 

"In a federal structure, how can a state file plea challenging Parliament's mandate," the Supreme Court bench said.

We know it is a matter which needs consideration but you satisfy us how state can challenge it, the bench added.

After the court's rap, the Bengal government has agreed to amend the plea and will file it again. 

"If the court has said on Aadhaar matter that I need to approach individually, then I respect it. They have not rejected my petition," Mamata Banerjee said.

The West Bengal government filed the plea last week after Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee opposed the linking of her mobile phone number with Aadhaar. "Aadhaar number should not be linked with one's mobile phone. I will not link my Aadhaar number with my mobile even if my connection is snapped," she said at a party meeting.

However, the Aadhaar-mobile issue is not part of the state government's plea, senior advocate and Member of Parliament Kalyan Banerjee said.

The Centre had, on October 25, told the top court that the deadline for mandatory Aadhaar linking to avail benefits of various government schemes has been extended till March 31 next year. The extension concerned those who do not have the 12-digit biometric identification number.

Attorney General KK Venugopal told a bench headed Chief Justice Dipak Misra that deadline extension would apply only to those who do not have Aadhaar and are willing to enrol for it. Earlier, the deadline for linking of Aadhaar was December end this year. 

Venugopal had also told the bench that he would take instructions on certain issues on Aadhaar after which the court had asked him to mention the matter again on October 30.

Several petitions are pending in the top court which challenge the centre's move to make Aadhaar linkage with mobile number and bank accounts mandatory for welfare schemes and notifications.

The court today issued notice to Centre on separate plea challenging linking of mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar and sought reply within four weeks.