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Top court rejects pleas seeking review of 2018 Aadhaar verdict

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 

New Delhi, Jan 20: The Supreme Court has dismissed a batch of pleas seeking review of its 2018 verdict which had upheld the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions

 in-cluding its linking with bank ac-counts, mobile phones and school admissions. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, by a majority of 4:1, rejected the re-view pleas against the apex court’s September 26, 2018 verdict. Justice D Y Chandrachud, one of the five-judges of the bench,

 dis-sented with the majority verdict and said that the review petitions be kept pending until a larger bench decides the question related to cer-tification of a bill as a money bill. The Aadhaar Bill was certified as a money bill which enabled the government to get it cleared with-out getting the assent of a major-ity in the Rajya Sabha.

 “The present review petitions have been filed against the final judgment and order dated September 26, 2018. We have pe-rused the review petitions as well as the grounds in support thereof. In our opinion, no ease for review of judgment and order dated 

September 26, 2018 is made out,” the majority order of January 11 said. “We hasten to add that change in the law or subsequent deci-sion/judgment of a coordinate or larger bench by itself cannot be regarded as a ground for review The review petitions are accordingly dismissed,

” said the bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S Abdul Nazeer and B R Gavai. The review pleas were taken up for consideration in-chamber by the bench. In its 2018 verdict, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra had held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax Return and allotment of perma-nent account number (PAN), it 

would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar number to bank accounts and telecom service providers can-not seek its linking for mobile con-nections. In its 4:1 verdict that had also quashed some contentious provi-sions of the Aadhaar Act, the top court, however, had held Aadhaar would be needed for availing fa-cilities of welfare schemes and gov-ernment subsidies. 

Ruling that seeding of Aadhaar would not be required for opening bank accounts, availing mobile services, by CBSE, NEET, JEE, UGC and for admissions in schools and free education for children, the top court had observed that Aadhaar had also become a house hold name and that its use has spread like a “wildfire”. 

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