SC junks West Bengal's plea against Aadhaar-Mobile linking

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Earlier in the court, a separate bench pulled up West Bengal for challenging the Centre's decision to link Aadhaar for giving subsidies, wondering how could a state government could challenge a law passed by the central government.

After the court's rap, the Bengal government has agreed to amend the plea and will file it again.

At a party meeting in Kolkata on Wednesday, Banerjee had also opposed the linking of Aadhaar with mobile phone number, saying "Aadhaar number should not be linked with one's mobile phone".

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that her government will take action against civic bodies if they fail to check the spread of dengue and dismiss a municipality if its authorities are found sitting idle even after receiving funds to fight the mosquito-borne infection."I have asked the civic bodies to be alert. We know it is a matter which needs consideration, but you satisfy us how a state can challenge it (sic)?"

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In August, the Supreme Court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right; while those fighting Aadhaar welcomed the move, the government stressed that the right to privacy comes with reasonable restrictions, which should include Aadhaar. "If the government reiterates this (order) and makes a statement that there is no compulsion on the citizens we have no problems", said senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for those opposing Aadhaar.

Last week, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had mentioned before a Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the deadline extension from December end this year till March 31, 2018, would apply only to those who do not have Aadhaar and are willing to enroll for it, media reports said.

Venugopal also told the court that falsehoods had being propagated against Aadhaar, including how linking it was a must for CBSE students to appear in Class 10 and 12 exams.

The apex court was told by the Centre on October 25 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail the benefits of the government schemes has been extended till March 31 next year. The court has given all respondents in the case four weeks time to file their reply.