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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Friday, October 9, 2015

8876 - Supreme Court refuses to modify its order on use of Aadhaar card - Economic Times

Supreme Court refuses to modify its order on use of Aadhaar card
By Samanwaya Rautray, ET Bureau | 8 Oct, 2015, 02.50AM IST

NEW DELHI: In a severe embarrassment for the Modi government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to immediately concede its demand for the wider use of Aadhaar as proof of identity by banks, the stock markets and phone companies. Instead, the court referred the government's plea to a larger bench that will examine whether the mandatory nature of the scheme and its intrusive aspects encroach upon a citizen's right to privacy. 

Several petitions had been filed challenging the use of the Aadhaar individual identification number and the top court had in the first instance reluctantly permitted the government to use it to dole out subsidies for cooking gas, kerosene and food grains sold through the public distribution system. The Modi government, which had vehemently opposed the previous UPA regime's ambitious scheme, changed its stance after coming to power in 2014 and insisted that Aadhaar was essential to target subsid for the deserving and prevent leakages worth thousands of crores of rupees. 

A bench comprising Justices Jasti Chelameswar, SA Bobde and C Nagappan had initially directed the government not to insist on Aadhaar or deny social welfare benefits to the weaker sections for the lack of this proof of identity after the attorney general clarified that the scheme was "voluntary" and not "mandatory." Since then, the government prevailed over the court to let it use Aadhaar to hand out LPG, kerosene and PDS subsidies. The latest attempt was to get the top court to allow the use Aadhaar by banks, stock exchanges and phone companies to curb financial irregularities, black money and terrorism. 


The three-judge bench on Wednesday rejected this plea for now and referred it to a larger bench. However, with several matters involving complicated constitutional questions of law — at last count over 150 — pending in the top court for final hearing, a fresh hearing on the plea to expand the use of Aadhaar may take time unless the government raises the issue again before the Chief Justice of India and urges him to constitute a larger bench immediately. 

"We are of the view that these applications should be placed before the larger bench," the bench said in a short order. On Tuesday, regulatory bodies such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities & Exchange Board of India and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had spearheaded the government attempts to allow them to insist on Aadhaar. Also backing their case was the newly created Pension Regulatory Authority of India. 

The top court heard their arguments patiently and then hinted that this was not a foolproof method of dealing with such problems. "How can you control terrorism?" the bench wondered when additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta stated that a terrorist would not get an Aadhaar number and therefore would not get a mobile phone connection. 

The government had also insisted that black money and other financial irregularities could be tracked with the use of Aadhaar. 

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had defended the scheme in court, insisting that no personal information collected from citizens would be shared with anyone except government agencies. 

He had also ruled out the possibility of such information being leaked to foreign agencies contracted by the Unique Identification Authority of India to collect such biometric data. 

So far, 92 crore people have enrolled in the scheme, the government said. 

Opponents of Aadhaar have objected to implementation of such an intrusive scheme by executive fiat and have demanded that the government bring in a law with adequate safeguards to prevent the leak and misuse of sensitive information collected from the citizens. 

The government maintains that it has gone too far down the road to roll it back. 


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