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SC refers Aadhaar-linked issues to Constitution bench

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Friday said all issues arising out of Aadhaar should finally be decided by a larger bench and the Chief Justice of India would take a call on the need for setting up a Constitution bench comprising seven or nine judges.

"My opinion is that once a matter has been referred to a Constitution bench, then all the issues arising out of it should be with the Constitution bench. I can only say that a matter can be disposed of by a nine-judge bench. You two can decide the possibility of nine judges hearing it," Justice J Chelameswar, heading a three-judge bench, told Attorney General K K Venugopal and senior counsel Shyam Divan.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha, said it will depend upon the Chief Justice of India to decide whether the matter can be examined by a bench of seven or nine judges.

The bench asked the Attorney General and Divan, who was appearing for the parties opposing making of Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of social welfare schemes, to mention the matter before a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar to constitute a larger bench.

A two-judge bench of the apex court had on 27 June refused to pass an interim order against the Centre's notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of social welfare schemes, with the government assuring it that no one would be deprived for want of this identification.