uid

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 scholar Usha Ramanathan describes 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


Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


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Saturday, October 3, 2015

8806 - Govt links Aadhaar to rights of poor; galaxy of top lawyers to represent it in case - Financial Express


With the Supreme Court allowing Aadhaar card to be used for PDS and LPG, the Gujarat government’s petition to the court is using this to get permission to extend it to other schemes...

By: Indu Bhan | October 1, 2015 3:08 PM

With the Supreme Court allowing Aadhaar to be used for PDS and LPG, the Gujarat government is petitioning the court to get permission to extend this to other schemes such as pensions and MGNREGA. The Reserve Bank of India’s petition to the SC on its August 11 order also takes much the same line when it links provision of banking services to those that have no other valid document as proof of identity — in a period when mobile banking, especially, will be used to provide banking services, Aadhaar becomes even more critical.

In a move that looks orchestrated by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), a clutch of BJP-ruled/friendly states have either already petitioned or are going to petition the SC on being allowed to use Aadhaar for various schemes — the list includes Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. While the RBI and the Securities and Exchange Board of India have also filed their own petitions, other regulators like PFRDA and Irda are also expected to join the suit.

A bevy of top lawyers will be arguing different aspects of the case for the state governments/regulators. While the petitioners are represented by senior counsel Shyam Divan, Gopal Subramanium and Meenakshi Arora, the Centre has its highest law officer, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, arguing its case. Senior counsel Harish Salve is appearing for the Gujarat government, Sebi is being represented by additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta and the RBI by senior counsel Jayant Bhushan. Additional solicitors general Maninder Singh and Pinky Anand are representing the central government. Senior counsel KK Venugopal is appearing for the Centre for Civil Society which is also supporting Aadhaar. The Election Commission is being represented by senior counsel Ashok Desai.

The Supreme Court will hear all applications on October 6 and is likely to decide whether the case can now be heard by the same three-judge bench or if it should be heard by a larger Constitution bench to which the case has been referred. The case has been referred to a larger constitutional bench to determine whether the right to privacy of a citizen is a fundamental right or not.

A three-judge bench of the apex court comprising justices J Chelameswar, SA Bobde and C Nagappan had on August 11 said that “UIDAI/Aadhaar will not be used for any other purposes except PDS, kerosene and LPG distribution system. Even for the public distribution system, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution system, the card will not be mandatory.” It further confined the use of biometric information collected during Aadhaar enrolment only to criminal investigation.
The UIDAI has told the Supreme Court in its application that the restriction on use of Aadhaar cards seems to undermine the government’s ambitious Digital India initiative and has requested for clearance to include Aadhaar’s use for schemes like biometric attendance system, digital certificates and pension payments, among others.

Even the Gujarat government wants the apex court to “permit the use of Aadhaar number not only for the PDS scheme and LPG distribution scheme but also for any social welfare scheme or service of the central government, state governments or like services based on individual consent to enable those who are enrolled/enrolling on a voluntary basis to avail of the services and the benefits of Aadhaar”.

The Aadhaar card scheme, Gujarat has argued, is a fool-proof method for the government to identify the actual beneficiaries of social benefit schemes and not get duped into spending taxpayers’ money on fraudsters.

In its application, Gujarat said “this court, while allowing the use of Aadhaar for PDS and LPG schemes, was guided by the right to food, which is contained in Article 21 of the Constitution. However, it is submitted that the schemes falling under other rights, viz, right to work, right to receive old age or disability pensions under Article 21, may also be treated equally”. Referring to the six central schemes covered under different statutory regimes, the Gujarat government said that the earlier order of the court permitting state agencies to link Aadhaar card for accessing foodgrains under PDS, cooking fuel, and kerosene recognised the right to food under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Similarly, the Gujarat government said that right to work under MGNREGA, right to receive old age or disability pension too should be treated at par to right to food as they too come under Article 21 of the Constitution guaranteeing right to life and personal liberty.

The RBI has asked the Supreme Court to permit it to link Aadhaar cards for availing banking services and identification of citizens on voluntary basis either in the absence of any other officially valid document or otherwise.

Sebi has told the apex court that Aadhaar can become a single document for both proof of identity and address for an individual. “…a single piece of document ie Aadhaar card offers easy and simplified mode for completion of Know Your Client (KYC) requirements while on-boarding a client by any registered intermediary in terms of Prevention of Money Laundering norms… Aadhaar can act as a tool for monitoring various transactions by individuals across financial markets and help in early fraud detection,” the market regulator said in its application.

“If a person has voluntarily obtained an Aadhaar card and then chooses to produce the same as proof of identification, then there should be no reason for banks or financial institutions for preventing the person from doing so,” the application by RBI stated.

First Published on October 01, 2015 1:43 pm