'Would peruse privacy verdict before hearing Aadhaar plea'
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would first go through the crucial judgement on privacy before taking a call on Congress leader Jairam Ramesh's challenge to the Lok Sabha Speaker's decision to certify a bill to amend the Aadhaar law as a money bill.
The plea was mentioned before a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices P C Pant and D Y Chandrachud for an early hearing, but the apex court said it would first peruse the judgement delivered by its nine-judge constitution bench declaring the right to privacy a fundamental right.
"You mention it on Friday (September 1). We will also read the judgement," CJI Misra said.
The apex court had in February observed that it was "tentatively not convinced" with the grounds taken by Ramesh to challenge the Lok Sabha Speaker's decision to certify the bill to amend Aadhaar law as a money bill.
Observing that the issue was "important and serious" and it did not want to take a call on it in haste, the court had told the counsel appearing for Ramesh to prepare his case by taking into account all the objections raised by the Centre.
The Centre had opposed the plea saying that it fulfilled the criteria as the expenditure for the welfare schemes has to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.
Ramesh had earlier claimed in the top court that the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was certified as a money bill to avoid its scrutiny by the Rajya Sabha which does not have any say on such legislations.
The Bill was discussed and passed by the Lok Sabha on March 11 last year.
It was taken up in Rajya Sabha on March 16, where several amendments were made to it. The bill was returned the same evening to the Lok Sabha, which rejected all the amendments adopted by the Upper House and passed it without any of these changes.
Justice PC Pant demits office, apex court vacancies rise to 6
New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant retired on Tuesday after a tenure of little over three years, bringing the vacancies in the apex court to six. Justice Pant, who became a Supreme Court judge on August 13, 2014, was one of the few judges to have been elevated to the apex court from the lower judiciary.
With his retirement, the strength of the Supreme Court has come down to 25 judges from 31, including the Chief Justice of India. A Supreme Court judge retires at the age of 65 years.
During his tenure in the top court, Justice Pant became a part of various historical and path-breaking judgements.
He was a part of the bench which held a midnight hearing upholding the death sentence of Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon.
Justice Pant was also part of a bench which had upheld the constitutional validity of the criminal defamation law, saying that the Right to Life under Article 21 includes right to reputation. In another judgement, a bench comprising him and Chief Justice Dipak Misra had ruled against any move to strike a so-called 'compromise' between a rapist and the rape survivor.
Justice Pant was enrolled at the Bar in 1973. He entered the Uttar Pradesh Judicial Service in the year 1976 through UP Munsif Examination, 1973.
Thereafter, he was promoted to Uttar Pradesh Higher Judicial Service in 1990 and joined as Additional District Judge in District Bahraich. He also worked as Joint Registrar in High Court of Allahabad.
After creation of Uttarakhand, he was the first Secretary (Judicial) of the State. He also held the post of District and Sessions Judge at Nainital before being posted as Registrar General of High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital.