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In a setback to the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain its petition challenging the Centre’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of numerous government welfare schemes. The court, however, asked the West Bengal counsel to amend its prayer and submit a fresh plea.
The Supreme court bench, while hearing the petition, pulled up the state government saying how can it question a law enacted by the Parliament.
“In a federal structure, how can a state file plea challenging Parliament’s mandate? We know it is a matter which needs consideration but you satisfy us how a state can challenge it?” Let Mamata Banerjee come in individual capacity and challenge the Act. it asked.
The two petitions were heard in the apex court separately from the batch of 21 petitions which are already being heard by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the West Bengal government, informed the court that the plea has been filed by the labour department of the state as subsidies under these schemes have to be given by them.
The apex court has issued a notice to the Centre, asking it file a reply within four weeks. This was in response to an individual plea and not a government petition.
At a party meeting in Kolkata on October 25, Banerjee had also opposed the linking of Aadhaar with mobile phone number, saying: “Aadhaar number should not be linked with one’s mobile phone. I will not link my Aadhaar number with my mobile even if my connection is snapped.”