The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.-Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.”-A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant.Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty”and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” -Edward Snowden

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Saturday, October 20, 2018

13917 - 'All-pervasive use of Aadhaar curtailed': Supreme Court verdict on UID draws gamut of reactions - First Post

'All-pervasive use of Aadhaar curtailed': Supreme Court verdict on UID draws gamut of reactions
India FP Staff Sep 26, 2018 19:54:15 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday declared that the Aadhaar Act was constitutionally valid, though it gave the government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) a slap on the wrist on a number of aspects of the law. Unsurprisingly, there have been a host of reactions to the judgment, some welcoming it and others expressing disappointment.

Centre, BJP feel vindicated
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict, calling it a "historic decision". At a press conference, he said it was a welcome decision that Aadhaar's concept of a unique identity number and legislation has been accepted after a judicial review. Jaitley also said that by identifying beneficiaries of the government scheme and ensuring that there were no fake, or duplicate, or non existent beneficiaries, the Centre would save Rs 90,000 every year. He also said that Aadhaar's critics should realise that technology cannot be defied or ignored any longer.

"Aadhaar is a great step forward in the use of technology in governance. It will continue to be a great benefit to the society," he said, expressing gratitude to the advocates of the Aadhaar scheme — Nandan Nilekani and Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

Arun Jaitley speaking about Supreme Court's verdict on Aadhaar at Cabinet briefing. ANI
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was resent at the press conference,  called to brief the media on a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, also praised the Supreme Court's verdict, saying the decision is "a judgement of moment, empowering democracy, good governance, service delivery and also empowering the ordinary Indian".

"The purpose of Aadhaar is legitimate and in the State's interest. It is not a surveillance tool," he asserted.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) described the Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar as a big victory for the "pro poor" Narendra Modi government. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the top court had ruled that Aadhaar was safe.
"We see it as a big victory for the pro-poor Modi government. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and has also said that it does not violate privacy," Patra said.

The UIDAI, too, called it a "historical and landmark judgement". "The Aadhaar verdict is a victory for the UIDAI and the Government of India and has also set the pace of India's digital destiny," the authority said. "It has been established by the judgment that Aadhaar is not for State surveillance as profiling is not possible using the minimal data that Aadhaar has. There are sufficient safeguards to disallow any abuse."

Congress welcomes move, but for different reasons
The Congress, too, welcomed the top court's decision, but this was particularly its decision to read down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allowed private entities to access Aadhaar data. The party called the move a "slap on the face of the BJP".
"We welcome the Supreme Court's decision to strike down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. Private entities are no longer allowed to use Aadhaar for verification purposes," the Congress said on Twitter, minutes after the verdict was pronounced.

Several party leaders supported the court's ruling, as well.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi praised the verdict but, once again, alleged that the BJP was using the Aadhaar scheme for surveillance rather than for empowerment.

For Congress, Aadhaar was an instrument of empowerment.
For the BJP, Aadhaar is a tool of oppression and surveillance.
Thank you Supreme Court for supporting the Congress vision and protecting 🇮🇳. #AadhaarVerdict
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 26, 2018

Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that if the BJP government does not bring the Aadhaar Act to the Rajya Sabha — the Act was passed surpassing the Upper House as it was introduced in the Lok Sabha as a money bill — the Congress will approach the Supreme Court again.

However, he denied that the verdict upholding the validity of Aadhaar was "not a setback as striking down the Act would have deprived the marginalised sections". "But we agree with Justice DY Chandrachud that it is a fraud (to introduce the bill as a money bill) on the Constitution."

Toon by Manjul.

'A very good, balanced judgment'
Retired justice KS Puttaswamy, one of the first to question the legality of Aadhaar, welcomed the Supreme Court verdict. "After holistic consideration, my opinion is that the majority judgment on the validity of Aadhaar Act is correct, though I have not read the whole judgment yet," the 92-year-old retired Karnataka High Court judge said. On the court upholding the mandatory Aadhaar-PAN linking, he said those who pay income tax are limited, and they belong to a separate class.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee hailed the judgment and said: "It is a victory of the people of this country and we are very happy... The days of the BJP government are over in the country."
Attorney general of India KK Venugopal told ANI, "I am very happy with the judgment. It is a landmark and remarkable judgment."
Amitabh Kant, CEO of the Niti Aayog, agreed that it is "a good and a progressive judgment and will bring efficiency in the country". He stressed the Supreme Court's observation that Aadhaar has stood the test of constitutionality.
Leading figures from the IT sector said that the apex court's verdict is balanced. Former Chief Financial Officer of Infosys, TV Mohandas Pai told PTI, "Overall, it is a very good, balanced judgement that recognises Aadhaar as a unique entity, empowers the government to make Aadhaar mandatory with conditions in certain cases and recognises the primacy of the individual's right to her data."
Another ex-CFO of Infosys, V Balakrishnan, said the apex court has come out with a balanced view on the issue. "The Supreme Court has, in effect, addressed many of the concerns related to the wide use of Aadhaar data and resulting data privacy issues," Balakrishnan said. "The all-pervasive use of people's Aadhaar number has been curtailed by the judgment to a large extent."
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan reacted to the Supreme Court's verdict saying that the major concerns of citizens had been taken care of, but he expressed concern with the verdict upholding the Act as a money bill.
One issue before the SC was whether the Aadhaar Act could have been passed as a money bill, thus bypassing the Rajya Sabha. Govt has been misusing the money bill provision to pass Acts having nothing to do with govt funds such as the FCRA or Representation of People Act. https://t.co/mg26G9QCFQ — Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) September 26, 2018
Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee called it "a good judgment" in providing relief to citizens and said Justice DY Chandrachud's dissent was very important. "I think that on the whole, it is a good judgment. Although personally, I am happy with Justice Chandrachud's judgment striking it down on the grounds that it bothers the right to privacy," he said.
Pavan Duggal, one of the nation's leading cyber law experts, said that the Aadhaar verdict was a huge sigh of relief for citizens, though he warned that it would now be a "humongous task to ensure that the data already with private companies is not misused or sold".
Supratim Chakraborty, associate partner at law firm Khaitan and Co, also warned that there was "need to have proper safeguards as to how information is being used by private parties"
Neel Ratan, a partner at PwC India, said the verdict "provides reasonable restrictions to ensure that citizens' consent is taken and misuse of data can be controlled, while benefits of Aadhaar can be adequately passed on to marginalised groups".
Pointing out that banks should stop issuing Aadhaar cards as it has no connection to banking, the general secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association, CH Venkatachalam, said, "As far as banks are concerned, an Aadhaar card is one more card to identify a person while opening an account. No other purpose is served beyond that."
With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 26, 2018 19:54 PM

13916 - Aadhaar verdict: Validation of UID principles, says Nandan Nilekani - The Hindu


                                 Nandan Nilekani  

‘Aadhaar cleared the ultimate scrutiny’
Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani, who was the first Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, has said that the landmark judgment was in favour of the unique identification programme.

“More than just opining on the constitutionality of the Act, the Supreme Court has unequivocally validated the founding principles for Aadhaar. Aadhaar is a unique identity project that is critical to the developmental goals of the nation. Aadhaar includes, doesn’t exclude,” Mr. Nilekani said in a statement to The Hindu.

“The resident was once again recognised as being at the heart of the project, and they have gained new rights that help them assert their ownership over their data. Aadhaar has undergone the ultimate scrutiny in the highest court, and a lot of recommendations have been incorporated. Through the democratic process of discussion and debate, we have created a better and stronger Aadhaar together,” Mr. Nilekani said.

13915 - Aadhaar: Poor will be affected most - Indian Express

There have been many cases in the past when a person has been denied benefits because he did not have Aadhaar linked to some documents.

Published: 27th September 2018 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2018 06:45 AM
  |  A+A A-

Usha Ramanathan

Express News Service

Usha Ramanathan is an independent law researcher and one of the leading critics of Aadhaar

I am disappointed with today’s verdict. I was hoping that the court would come on the side of the people. I think they have bought the marketing gimmick of the Aadhaar that it is build to benefit the poor. The biggest problem faced due to this (decision) is the people living in poverty.

There have been many cases in the past when a person has been denied benefits because he did not have Aadhaar linked to some documents. Many people even have died of hunger, and families of deceased sewage workers denied compensation because Aadhaar was not linked. Data suggest that 6 per cent of the finger prints and 8 per cent of the iris has not worked even once.

You impose a technology that is insecure, that is untested which is not working The government claim that the poor has benefitted from the programme is inaccurate and misrepresent the whole project … the majority have treated welfare as if it doesn’t come within the context of rights. The fundamental understanding that what the people of the country are entitled to , is what has been misread by the majority. I see in the judgment a continuity of their relationship. Courts are relatively independent, but they see themselves not coming in the way of the state. I have a certain sympathy with a majority of judges that they don’t get what the technologies does and what these people are behind it. We need a whole vision as what tech is doing to our life.

Today, I find many people are anxious about technology. We also know that this project was something that was promoted by the companies and used the coercive power of the state. The collaboration between the corporate and state is that the government will collect all the data which becomes an identity platform on which business will be built. The state also took the money bill root to pass the act. If money bill route is taken to cut down our liberties, then it is highly problematic. The state surveillance is not going anywhere. The court didn’t even ask about state surveillance. We raised this concern but it does not resonated with the majority.

They said that the state will keep the data safe but there have been many instances of fake ID generation. I view that point raised Justice D Y Chandrachud will open new doors for discussion about the topic in future. In our constitutional history, minority stand over the time has become the majority voice.

13914 - Activists 'Deeply Disappointed' With Parts of Majority Judgment in Aadhaar Case - The Wire

Activists 'Deeply Disappointed' With Parts of Majority Judgment in Aadhaar Case

Insist the Supreme Court relied more on UIDAI's presentation rather than affidavits and testimonies presented about large scale exclusion and deaths due to Aadhaar while upholding Section 7, which allows its use for targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services.


A number of rights activists have expressed “deep disappointment” with some parts of the majority judgment on Aadhaar delivered by three of the five judges of a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on the ground that it overlooked the fact that a program that had been initiated to give an identity to the poor had turned into a regressive program that governments are using to deny even basic necessities like rations, education and banking services to the poor.

The activists also insisted that while the judges who gave the majority judgment relied on the submissions of the Centre, they overlooked the affidavits and testimonies submitted by activists to show the flip side of the Aadhaar program. They said most of the judges also failed to appreciate the threats posed by the technology involved in the Aadhaar program and only justice D.Y. Chandrachud – who gave a dissenting judgment and declared the Aadhaar Act 2016 to be ‘unconstitutional’ – appeared to have considered the concerns raised in this regard.

‘Aadhaar grew from being an identity to one used for threatening exclusion’
Activist Usha Ramanathan said she was deeply disappointed with some parts of the judgment. The Aadhaar project was started without explaining the reasons and people were forced to enrol or face the threat of being excluded from their entitlements.
“They began by saying it will help the poor have an identity. Later, it became a threat of exclusion. They began saying, we can take your money, you will become criminally liable and you will not be able to pay taxes if you do not have an Aadhaar,” she added.

Ramanathan said she had begun looking into Aadhaar after she read comments that “government has a lot of data but it cannot handle it”. She said the fears about the security of the data began to unfold when it emerged that a US-based company which had close links to the Central Intelligence Agency was involved. Whistleblower Edward Snowden had already cautioned that the US’s National Security Agency had a programme to watch over the people of the world.

She said the gradual linking of National Payments Corporation of India and tax networks to Aadhaar and the proclamation that the government wanted to build businesses on it called for further caution.

The judgment delivered today, she said, “shakes up the project”. “They have found there are problems which cannot be ignored.”

The Supreme Court’s judgment ‘shakes up the programme’, activists said. Credit: PTI/Atul Yadav

UIDAI submitted 49,000 entities were blacklisted for corruption

With passage of time, the ugly problems related to Aadhaar started showing. There were groups of people who approached the activists because they were denied rations as they could not get their cards linked to Aadhaar.

During the proceedings, the UIDAI itself had submitted that 49,000 entities engaged in making Aadhaar had been blacklisted for corruption, Ramanathan said. “They were collecting money from people and deliberately delaying the process to harass them. But this did not prevent the court from upholding the linkage of Aadhaar with welfare programmes,” she said.

However, the activist also saw a few positive takeaways from the judgment. “It was held earlier that a money bill cannot be challenged in a court, but this case has changed that.” Ramanathan expressed surprise at the manner in which the court “acted as an editor” for the parliament and directed how parts of the law could be changed so that it survives constitutional scrutiny.

Ramanathan also termed the judgment to be awkward as it valourised the power point presentation made by Unique Identity Authority of India in the court over the submissions made by the activists. “You can’t replace constitutional argument with it,” she quipped.

‘Justice Chandrachud’s minority judgment crucial’
The eminent activist said it was the minority judgment delivered by justice Chandrachud which caught the essence of the submissions of the activists. She said, “Constitutional jurisprudence has moved on minority judgments.” In this regard, Ramanathan recalled how the judgment in Kharak Singh v State of UP delivered by justice Subba Rao had become a majority judgment later.

She also insisted that justice Chandrachud’s judgment was “important” because he “provided judicial recognition” to what had been submitted by the activists and was “consecrated” through his judgment. “He also recognised that technology changes the nature of the game,” she added.
Finally on the issue of filing a review, Ramanathan said while no decision has been taken as the judgment was voluminous and they were yet to go through it, some parts, like biometric authentication in which the government has also accepted certain level of rejections, could be revisited.

‘Despite having Aadhaar, people unable to get rations ‘
Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti spoke about how exclusion due to Aadhaar was not just confined to the inability of people to link their ration cards, but extended even to those who had linked them.
“The whole programme is about linking to biometrics and while the government claimed that only about 0.27% of people were facing problems due to it, the number is between 20-27% when it comes to denial of entitlements despite possessing Aadhaar,” he said.
The Rajasthan government’s official website, he said, admitted last year that 25% of people were unable to take rations despite Aadhaar linkage. “The issue is that when even in New Delhi, phone networks do not work properly. How are such systems expected to work in remote places?”
He charged that this was a clear case of violation of right to life under Article 21 of the constitution. The idea that governments are making profits by denying people their right to rations and pensions is unacceptable. So with NREGA, he said, there have been numerous instances where payments have not reached people despite their bank accounts being also linked to Aadhaar.

Biometric verification of Aadhaar has experienced various troubles. Credit: Reuters

Prime minister’s claims
Dey said the government had claimed that Aadhaar has been used to stop corruption as 10 lakh bogus pensions had been stopped. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that it has resulted in huge savings – but saying everything not disbursed is a saving is an insult to injury for those who are being denied their legitimate rights and those who have died due to denial of rations,” he charged.
The activist also questioned how many FIRs had been filed if so much corruption had taken place that thousands of crores of rupees had been saved. So, he said, he was “deeply disappointed that Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act which allowed its use for over 400 government schemes and services had not been struck down”.
Dey also hoped that Aadhaar will become an election issue for the people. “We are saying please vote on Aadhaar. People must vote whether there should be any such law or not.”
Anjali Bharadwaj of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information said the fact that the Aadhaar Act was brought as a money Bill is a cause for concern. She noted that finance minister Arun Jaitley had stated that it was brave of his government to have brought the Act as a money Bill, but what was actually on display was “brute majority” of the Modi government.
Bharadwaj said the judgment has let down the poor and marginalised as it has not addressed the issue of exclusion. All the evidence, through affidavits and testimonies, was presented before the Supreme Court and high courts. Still, the court’s direction to make Aadhaar mandatory amounts to letting down such people, she said.
‘PoS machines do not function due to lack of connectivity’
Recalling how a young girl, Santoshi, had died in Jharkhand due to exclusion from the public distribution system due to Aadhaar, Bharadwaj said there have been many more such deaths across the country. “In Delhi, where we have all infrastructure, there is a place where a point of sales PDS machine is kept on a jamun tree so that it could operate,” she said, adding that “during a pilot project over 20% PoS machines had failed leading to massive exclusions. As such, she the apex court upholding the use of Aadhaar for government services and schemes was a “big disappointment”.
She also questioned the rationale behind the government calling Aadhaar an “anti-corruption tool’. The PM had said 4 crore bogus cards had been weeded out, resulting in a saving of Rs 14,000 crores, but no evidence was presented, she charged.
Likewise, Bharadwaj said citing Aadhaar data, the government had said 80,000 bogus teachers had been found, but not a single FIR was filed. “So this government keeps going back on all its claims.”
She also pointed out how different figures, without any basis, were being doled out by senior government functionaries. “In court, the government said Rs 57,000 crore had been saved due to Aadhaar, but now FM says Rs 90,000 crore has been saved.”

Activists questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that Aadhaar has resulted in huge savings. Credit: PTI/Files
Bharadwaj said the government’s penchant for doling out figures also extended to its claim that there was over 99% biometric accuracy. “Where are these figures coming  from? Why is evidence not presented?” she asked.

Another activist Amrita Johri, spoke about how biometric success also always did not mean delivery of rations. “Sometimes the dealers say that the PoS has not captured the biometrics when they actually had and people are turned away and their rations siphoned off. Also, often the biometrics are scanned one day and people are told to collect their rations later,” she said.

‘Aadhaar has been reduced to a skeleton, how long will it survive’
A coder-turned-lawyer S. Prasanna, who had appeared for the petitioners in the Aadhaar case, said he viewed the judgment with a “note of optimism” as “there was an ambition behind the project”. Stating that the “universality and ubiquity” of the project has received a “push back in court”, he said the ambition and vision behind the project has also seen severe curtailment.

Prasanna said by striking down Section 57, which dealt with private ambition, the judgments “such the blood out of the program, and a key element of the Aadhaar law, and the ruling on metadata takes the flesh out of the program.” “What the court has preserved is only the skeleton and we don’t know how it will survive,” he chuckled.

13913 - Activists say fight against Aadhaar will now be taken to the people - National Herald India

Updated: Sep 27th 2018, 07.01 PM

People being enrolled for obtaining 12-digit unique Aadhaar ID (file photo)

After the Supreme Court judgment, rights activists say the fight against Aadhaar is never completely over until the last person gets their due, and plan to now take the fight among the people

It’s not over. The fight against Aadhaar is never completely over until the last person gets their due. After all, we are still the country where Gandhi’s ideals of Antyodaya through Sarvodaya live on. The Aadhaar card was touted as something that would help all, especially the poor. But that hasn’t been the case.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan declared the Aadhaar Act as constitutionally valid on September 26, 2018. All judges except Justice Chandrachud gave a concurring judgement. 

But, all the judgements have recognised that there are parts of the Aadhaar Act that are not valid and some of its provisions were struck down, including Aadhaar linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions. Aadhaar would remain mandatory for availing social services, subsidy, benefits under Section 7 of the Act and for filing of Income Tax (IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).

The verdict on the validity of the Aadhaar Act, which was introduced as a Money Bill in Lok Sabha, has been hailed and condemned almost in equal measure. But, there can be no doubt about the verdict being loaded heavily against the poor.
“Something that was started as giving an ID to a people has been so terribly coercive and repressive,” said Usha Ramanathan, a lawyer who has tirelessly petitioned against the Aadhaar project.

Ramanathan added that the SC verdict shook up the project, but it was disconcerting that “for the government Aadhaar is an inclusive project”. “While the majority judgment has said many things, it has also found many problems in the project. It seems to me that the court appears to be ‘innocent’ even when data and facts were given to them—people from around the country sent affidavits,” pointed out Ramanathan at a meeting organised at the Indian Women Press Corps in Delhi on the evening after the verdict was delivered, September 26.

The verdict on the validity of the Aadhaar Act, which was introduced as a Money Bill in Lok Sabha, has been hailed and condemned almost in equal measure

One big positive from the judgment is that it has said that the Money Bill can be reviewed in court. “In earlier judgments, it had been stated that Money Bills could not be challenged in court. But now, getting any Bill certified by the Speaker as a Money Bill will not be enough. Now, the courts can check if it would, in fact, qualify as a Money Bill or not. Given the way how Parliament is functioning these days, this is an important review,” said Ramanathan. 

“Justice Sikri said the Aadhaar Act came under the Money Bill, but he didn’t specify how. In fact, this judgment acts as an editor of the Parliament as it suggested ways to make it a Constitutional law. It seems like a lot of effort has been put in by the judges to help what was passed as a Money Bill to survive constitutionally,” explained Ramanathan.

“Justice Chandrachud has encapsulated what the petitioners have said and put it in a judgment. He has understood how technology has changed the game and also the relation between the state and the people. This means that it also has judicial recognition and it will be important over a period of time,” said Ramanathan emphatically.

Rights activist Nikhil Dey opined, “The whole point about the Aadhaar was its biometric usage. Unless you put in your biometric, you can’t get ration. There is so much class bias. People think those who do not have Aadhaar cards face trouble, but it is those who have an Aadhaar card that are excluded from benefits because of the Aadhaar card. More than 25% of the population is excluded. None of it is because they do not have an Aadhaar, but because the biometric doesn’t register. In this city, there is no network in many places, what can you say about India’s villages then? It is not a question of implementation, it is unworkable.”

Concurring with Dey, RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj said what was disheartening was the exclusion of the poor. “There are areas where PoS machines don’t function. In Delhi alone, 20% of the Aadhaar card holders cannot access ration because of Aadhaar. Eventually, the Delhi government said that Aadhaar is not mandatory to avail ration,” said Bhardwaj.

“What we will say is ‘vote on the Aadhaar’. “Few months from now there are elections and the only way forward is to vote on it. It is to make the government of the day realise if there should be a law like this at all,” said rights activist Nikhil Dey

Activist says will take battle on Aadhaar to electoral front
Citing examples, Dey said that in Rajasthan alone ₹100 crore of NREGA payments were rejected, not because people hadn’t worked, but because the Aadhaar would not function. So, people have dropped out of NREGA because they are not going to continue working if they won’t get paid. Hinting at taking this to an electoral battle, Dey asserted that the government may think that it could assert the validity of Aadhaar through power point presentations in court, but what we will say is ‘vote on the Aadhaar’. “Few months from now there are elections and the only way forward is to vote on it. It is to make the government of the day realise if there should be a law like this at all,” said Dey unequivocally.

Bhardwaj also rubbished claims that Aadhaar is an anti-corruption tool. “How is it an anti-corruption tool? Where is the evidence to put the entire nation through such inconvenience and loss of life. This government has not been able to give any evidence to back any of their claims and goes back on all its claims. The judgement overlooks all the evidence that was put forth,” said Bhardwaj.

“The UIDAI CEO Ajay Pandey’s powerpoint presentation showed many cases of corruption and harassment due to Aadhaar. At times, we wondered whether he was appearing for us or for UIDAI. Yet, most of the bench has chosen to ignore it,” said Ramanathan.

Activists say they are also considering appealing for review of the judgment. “There are errors in the judgement. We might take it back to court in several ways as most of it is an Article 21 case and chip at the judgement in many ways. We have to take it to the political arena—to the people,” said Ramanathan.
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13912 - Aadhaar Verdict Does Not Give Relief To The Poor, Say Activists

27/09/2018 10:45 AM IST | Updated 27/09/2018 11:45 AM IST
Aadhaar Verdict Does Not Give Relief To The Poor, Say Activists

Legal expert Usha Ramanathan said the SC judgement, which says Aadhaar is mandatory to access subsidies, did not recognise welfare as an entitlement of the people.

The Supreme Court's majority judgement said that Aadhaar being mandatory to access welfare schemes was a 'legitimate exercise'.

Activists, policy experts and lawyers who have been campaigning against Aadhaar are disappointed by substantial portions of the majority judgement delivered by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Speaking with reporters in the national capital few hours after the judgement was delivered, Usha Ramanathan, legal expert and one of the key advocates who argued against the Aadhaar project in court, said she felt "deep disappointment" that the court did not relate with the plight of people who are being excluded on account of Aadhaar despite activists filing affidavits demonstrating what is happening on the field.

The majority judgement upheld the constitutionality of Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI's) controversial project and said that Aadhaar being mandatory to access welfare schemes was a "legitimate exercise".

Ramanathan said the court has "retained the idea of welfare as something that a state gives to a people but which they have not yet recognized as a right that people have. It's an entitlement and a right. And that's where we have regressed through this judgement a little".

Referring to the judgement's reliance on claims made by the UIDAI chief in a power presentation, she added, "You cannot replace constitutional arguments with a power point."

Friday will mark a year since an 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand starved to death after her family lost their ration card, which had not been linked with Aadhaar. Researchers have said that Aadhaar is linked to half the starvation deaths reported since 2015.

Nikhil Dey, a campaigner with the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, said the judgement did not give any relief to the poor.

"I am unable to get it across, particularly to English-speaking people, that there is this much class bias that you do not understand that it is not the people left out not having Aadhaar cards. It is those who have cards and they are excluded because of Aadhaar." 

To illustrate this point, he said that Rajasthan government's food department website reflected that "roughly 25% of the national food security beneficiaries" chosen by the government have been unable to receive their rations over the last one year. All of these 25% odd beneficiaries have Aadhar but since their biometrics did not work, they could not receive their entitlements, he explained.

Anjali Bhardwaj from the Right to Food Campaign said the court had not factored in "evidence" from the government about how the poor have been excluded.

"The government has been constantly saying that it (Aadhaar) is an anti-corruption tool and this is reflected in today's judgement, too. How is it an anti-corruption tool? Where is the evidence? Every single time this government has made a claim that, because of Aadhaar, there have been savings, corruption has been combated; they have been unable to provide any evidence to back their claims," she said.

However, some parts of the judgement drew praise, especially the striking down of Section 57, which had allowed private companies such as Paytm and Reliance Jio to use the Aadhaar database.

This puts "an end to private ambition being built over this project", said Prasanna S, a lawyer associated with the petitioners who argued against Aadhaar. "I say that sucks the blood out of the project. And to take out metadata from authentication records from being stored...that takes the flesh out (of the Aadhar project). What the court has preserved now is just the skeleton and we do not know how long will it sustain," he added.

Ramanathan said the introduction of a provision for a judicial review of money bills was significant and added that the ruling gives hope that things may change in the future.

"The judgement does a number of things...basically it shakes up the project. It's not as if the majority judgement has said that Aadhaar is a great project, let's all carry on with it and let's change nothing. They have also found problems that they cannot ignore," she said.

13911 - Here's what Prashant Bhushan and Usha Ramanathan have to say on #AadhaarVerdict - News Laundry

It's been an eventful day, we catch up with two people important to the fight against Aadhaar Act.

By Amit Bhardwaj | Sep 26, 2018 0 Comments

The Supreme Court today upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan had reserved the verdict on the matter in May after a marathon 38-day-long hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the law.

Today, all judges except Justice Chandrachud gave a concurring judgement.
We caught up with one of the petitioners in the case and Supreme Court (SC) lawyer Prashant Bhushan who told us that the judgement is in favour of the common masses.

Speaking to Newslaundry, he said, "In this judgement, they have struck down the provisions of the Aadhaar Act which allowed the government to permit private companies to make Aadhaar mandatory." He further added that the judgement says no one can be “denied their entitlement in any government schemes just because the biometric identification fails.”

13910 - 'You Don't Have to Link Your Aadhaar to Memes Anymore': Twitter is Confused About Aadhaar Verdict - News 18

You don't have to link your Aadhaar to memes anymore.

News18.com@RakaMukherjeeeUpdated:September 26, 2018, 3:32 PM IST

You don't have to link your Aadhaar to memes anymore.

The Supreme Court's ruling today in the much awaited Aadhaar case declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid, but with conditions.

The majority verdict of the five-judge Constitution Bench has ruled that there is no need to link Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones but held that Aadhaar could be passed as a money bill.

From banks to mobiles, these are five places you do not need the Aadhaar anymore.

After this verdict, social media started speculating on the guidelines imposed for the Aadhaar judgement by the Supreme Court, also pointing out how some of the guidelines were vague and contradictory.

Especially the Aadhaar and the PAN-linking, vs Aadhaar and Bank linking had people confused.

1. Aadhar not mandatory for opening bank account

2. Pancard mandatory for opening bank account

3. Aadhar-pancard linking mandatory

Nahi matlab chal kya raha hai.. ho kya raha hai ye 

Aadhar Card not mandatory for opening Bank Account. PAN Card mandatory for Bank Account. PAN-Aadhar Mandatory for filing Tax returns. #AadhaarVerdict

Aadhar Verdict:

Scalar Sum: Aadhar is not mandatory for Bank Account. Aadhar must be linked with Pan. Pan is mandatory for Bank Account.

Vector Sum: Aadhar is mandatory for Bank Account

— Rahul Raj (@bhak_sala) September 26, 2018

Aadhaar Card is not mandatory for opening Bank Account. But PAN Card is mandatory for Bank Account. And PAN-Aadhar are Mandatory for filing Tax returns. #AadhaarVerdict

Pancard mandatory but Aadhaar is not mandatory for bank acc but Aadhaar-pan link is mandatory.  #AadhaarVerdict

so in layman's terms,

Me when #SupremeCourt says #Aadhaar not mandatory for bank account, but PAN is mandatory for bank account & #Aadhar is mandatory for PAN.#AadhaarVerdict

It also had people rejoicing about the verdict.

PIC 1: AADHAR before supreme court decision

pic 2 : AADAHAR after supreme court decision  #AadhaarVerdict

Q. What's common between the Aadhar card, PAN card and Driving license?

A. An ugly face on it.

#AadhaarVerdict clears that linking of mobile number to aadhar isn't mandatory. The judges also observed that Aadhar isn't a snooping tool for govt, it can track you down during morning walks & marriage functions even without an aadhar card.

#Breaking Now you can make jokes and meme without linking #Aadhaar#AadhaarVerdict

People also pointed out what could be the darker side of the verdict.

#AadhaarVerdict Simplified:
You won't need it for opening bank accounts or getting a new SIM card. The poor girl in Jharkhand who died crying for rice would still need it but you won't be bothered as it hardly affects you now.

This is how you can unlink your Aadhaar with everything you linked in past.   #AadhaarVerdict

Quick summary of Aadhaar Verdict -
When dealing with Government, use Aadhaar card.
When dealing with anyone else, use AnAadhaar card.#AadhaarVerdict #SupremeCourt

[The Supreme Court struck down the Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act on the grounds that it violated the right to privacy of citizens.]
Public : Thank God
Google/Facebook : lol

13909 - "Have Better, Stronger Aadhaar Now": Nandan Nilekani On Top Court Verdict - NDTV

Nandan Nilekani not only welcomed the "landmark judgment", he reiterated that the "unique identity project is critical to the developmental goals of the nation"

All India | Edited by Nidhi Sethi | Updated: September 26, 2018 19:22 IST

Nandan Nilekani has always said that Aadhaar includes, it doesn't exclude.

NEW DELHI: Nandan Nilekani, known as the architect of Aadhaar, had always been supportive of the national ID scheme. "Aadhaar will come out with flying colours," the former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman had said amid privacy concerns. And today Mr Nilekani not only welcomed the "landmark judgment", he reiterated that the "unique identity project is critical to the developmental goals of the nation".

Aadhaar includes, it doesn't exclude, he tweeted.
"The resident was once again recognised as being at the heart of the project, and they have gained new rights that help them assert their ownership over their data," he posted on Twitter.
Mr Nilekani added that all the analysis and safety tests have actually helped in developing a "better and stronger Aadhaar".

"Aadhaar has undergone the ultimate scrutiny in the highest court, and a lot of recommendations have been incorporated. Through the democratic process of discussion and debate, we have created a better and stronger Aadhaar together," his next tweet read.

This is a landmark judgement in favour of #Aadhaar. More than just opining on the constitutionality of the act, the SC has unequivocally validated the founding principles for Aadhaar. Aadhaar is a unique identity project that is critical to the developmental goals of the nation.
When the whole country was apprehensive about the safety aspect of Aadhaar, the former UIDAI chief had advised naysayers to have faith in the scheme as "Aadhaar was here to stay".
The Aadhaar programme launched by the Congress-led UPA government, but it has been "enthusiastically" supported by the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Nilekani, 63, non-executive chairman of software firm Infosys, had observed.

He said, "I'm a big believer that if you build the right digital infrastructure, then you can leapfrog."
The scheme, which was rolled out in 2010, began as a system to provide access to welfare schemes efficiently, but soon evolved into a mandatory ID for access to services like bank accounts, PAN cards, cellphone services, passport and even driving licenses.
Today, the court while upholding the validity of Aadhaar cleared its use for access to welfare schemes but struck down attempts to make it mandatory for bank accounts, mobile phone connections and school admissions.

Last year, in a case linked to the biometric database, the government went to the Supreme Court to argue that Indians did not have a fundamental right to privacy. It lost the case. The court ruled that the right to privacy was an "intrinsic part of life and personal liberty", which is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution.

In what became the second longest case with hearings over 38 days, the centre defended Aadhaar on several grounds -- the biggest being that it ensured proper distribution of benefits to millions and prevented siphoning of funds.