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FB-Aadhaar link: Madras HC adjourns hearing of plea to Sep 19

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: August 21, 2019  | 22:16 IST

Chennai, Aug 21 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a plea seeking linking of Aadhaar with social media accounts to ensure easy detection of online fraud and cybercrime to September 19. A division bench of justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad made it clear that it was not inclined to entertain the prayer for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts, but was only trying to navigate ways to curb online crime with cooperation of social media companies. The bench said it would take up the hearing on September 19 as the Supreme Court had listed a petition moved by Facebook seeking transfer of all such cases to the apex court on September 13. On Wednesday, when the plea seeking linking of Aadhaar with social media accounts came up, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Facebook, submitted that it would be a waste of time for the high court to continue hearing the matter as the apex court had restrained it from passing any final order. Opposing the submission, Advocate General Vijay Narayan contended that there was no impediment for the high court to continue with the hearing as the apex court had made it clear that high courts could continue hearing such pleas, though it should not pass any final order. The bench made oral observations, saying further hearings in the case would be useless if the apex court decided to transfer all such cases. The Supreme Court sought the responses of the Centre, Google, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube and others on Tuesday on Facebook Inc's plea seeking transfer of the pending cases related to linking of social media accounts with Aadhaar in different high courts to the apex court. The top court agreed to hear Facebook's plea and sought the responses of the Centre and the social media platforms by September 13. A bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the hearing in two cases pending before the Madras High Court, seeking linkage of social media profiles of users with Aadhaar, should continue but no final orders would be passed. "Notice be issued to the unserved respondents through e-mail at their e-mail addresses returnable on September 13, 2019. In the meantime, hearing before the Madras High Court may go on but no effective order be passed till further orders," the apex court bench said. PTI CORR BN RC

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