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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the views of the government on a plea challenging passage of the law on Aadhaar as a money bill.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has challenged Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, claiming it to be “unconstitutional".

A bench comprising chief justice T.S. Thakur, justices U.U. Lalit and R. Banumathi said they would like to hear the views of the government’s top law officer, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, before taking further steps.

The case will be heard next on 6 May.

Being a money bill, it was passed overruling amendments moved in the Rajya Sabha. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance government does not enjoy a majority in the Rajya Sabha and the Congress has accused the government of tagging the Aadhaar bill as a money bill to bypass the upper House.

The government has said that as the legislation involves expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, it is a money bill. Also, it is the Lok Sabha Speaker’s discretion to decide whether a specific legislation is a money bill or not.

A case challenging Aadhaar on the grounds that it violates the right to privacy is already before the apex court. The case has been referred to a constitution bench, which is yet to hear the case.

In an interim ruling in December, the court allowed use of Aadhaar for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, pension schemes of the central and state governments and the Employees’ Provident Fund scheme, in addition to the public distribution system and the distribution of cooking gas and kerosene subsidies.

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