SC bench recuses itself from hearing plea against Aadhaar

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New Delhi, May 17 : The Supreme Court vacation bench on Wednesday recused from hearing a petition challenging several government notifications making the Aadhaar card mandatory for availing benefits under schemes including mid-day meal and disability pension.

The bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Navin Sinha recused from hearing the petition by Shanta Sinha and Kalyani Sen Menon citing that Justice Nageswara Rao had appeared for the government in the matter when he was Additional Solicitor General.

Recusing from hearing the matter, the vacation bench said that the matter would be listed before an appropriate bench.

A constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar had on May 12 asked the petitioners to go to the vacation bench on May 17 after senior counsel Shyam Divan urged the court to hold an early hearing of the plea.

Sinha and Menon have contended that though under the Aadhaar Act, possessing it was voluntary but the government by a series of 17 notifications starting from February and as late as on May 12, issued several orders making it mandatory.

Sinha was the first Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and a Magsaysay award recipient while Menon is a feminist researcher.

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