The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday issued a notice to the Centre seeking a reply within four weeks on a plea challenging linking of mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar cards.

The decision comes on the day when the apex court pulled up West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for filing a plea against the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.

However, the SC order to the Centre was the outcome of a separate plea filed in the top court.

The Union government will now have to submit its reply within four weeks.

The SC’s order has opened the door for Mamata Banerjee to challenge the move that she has vehemently opposed, but in an individual capacity.

The Department of Telecommunications in March this year directed all mobile phone service providers to re-verify existing customers, prepaid and postpaid, using their unique Aadhaar identity number and biometric details.