New Delhi : There is “no question” of extending the June 30 deadline for making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that the idea behind making Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes was that the benefit should not go to “ghosts” as was noticed in schemes like the public distribution system (PDS).
He also raised preliminary objection to the plea seeking interim relief and challenging various notifications issued by the Centre and told a bench, comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha, that this matter should be listed for hearing before a five-judge constitution bench. Rohatgi said that earlier, some pleas seeking identical interim reliefs were also filed and those matters were pending before the apex court. The bench said it would be appropriate to hear all these pleas seeking interim relief together to “avoid multiplicity” and fixed the matter for hearing on June 27. When the bench was considering whether to list the matter for hearing during the summer vacation, senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, said there was urgency involved in it and if the matter was not heard before June 30, “the other way was if they (Centre) extend the deadline”. “There is no question of that,” Rohatgi said. The court, which directed that all these pleas seeking interim relief should be listed before it on June 27, allowed the Centre to file a counter to the plea within three weeks.
“Our attention was invited to (this) … that the applications filed in other writ petitions pending in this court may involve similar issues which will have to be considered…In our opinion, it is appropriate to hear these applications, having overlapping issues, together to avoid multiplicity of hearing on the same subject matter,” it said.
t the outset, Rohatgi said identical interim reliefs were sought in a plea filed around six months ago in the apex court and it was tagged with the main petition which would be heard by a constitution bench.