The Supreme Court on Monday criticised the West Bengal government for challenging the Centre’s directive to link all social welfare schemes with Aadhaar. The bench questioned the administration’s locus standi to challenge Aadhaar and asked how a state could challenge a law passed by Parliament, reported Live Law.
“How can a state challenge a law by Parliament?” the Supreme Court said, according to Bar & Bench. It said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could approach the court as an individual and challenge the law.
After being rebuked by the top court, the West Bengal government agreed to re-file the petition after modifying it, and the matter was adjourned.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre and four telecom companies in connection with a separate Aadhaar-related Public Interest Litigation filed by one Raghav Tankha, who had challenged the directive that made it mandatory to link mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar, ANI reported. The top court has sought a response within four weeks.
On October 25, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said she will not link her unique identification number with her mobile phone number, even if the connection was snapped. She had accused the central government of interfering with people’s rights and privacy.
“They have unleashed an autocratic rule in the country,” Banerjee had said while addressing a core committee meeting of the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata. “No one can raise a voice against them, else the Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate or Central Bureau of Investigation will be unleashed on them.”