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.

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

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.


Friday, October 9, 2015

8886 - After 60 years, SC to re-look right to privacy, courtesy Aadhaar - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, October 8, 2015


The Centre and government agencies argue that the Supreme Court order stood in the way of crores of Aadhaar holders who wanted easy access to social benefits schemes.

The new Constitution Bench will sit for the first time on October 14.

Over 60 years after an eight-judge Bench declared that Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right, the Supreme Court on Thursday decided to set up another Constitution Bench to re-look the question in the light of raging controversy that the Aadhaar card scheme is an invasion into citizen's privacy.

In 1954, the Supreme Court Bench led by the then Chief Justice M.C. Mahajan held that Right to Privacy is not recognised by the Constitution makers as a fundamental right, and so there is no need to strain to make it one.

This judgment in M.P. Sharma versus Satish Chandra, Delhi Magistrate held that the state's power of search and seizure was "overriding" and necessary for the protection of social security.
The new Constitution Bench, which will sit for the first time on October 14, will hear the fundamental issue whether the state is in the right by creating a situation by which a citizen is enticed to voluntarily part with his privacy rights — bank account details, fingerprints, iris signatures, and so on — for social benefit schemes he is already entitled to from a welfare state.
Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi on Thursday made an urgent mention before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu that a previous order by the Supreme Court on August 11, restricting the use of Aadhaar to PDS and LPG schemes, is affecting day-to-day governance and depriving crores of beneficiaries easy access to other welfare schemes.
Mr. Rohatgi urged the CJI Bench to set up a nine-judge Constitution Bench to authoritatively hear and decide the constitutional question of right to privacy.

On October 7, a three-judge Bench led by Justice J. Chelameswar did not alter its August 11 interim order. That order had held that the “balance of interest” is better served if obtaining Aadhar was neither mandatory nor a condition for accessing government benefits and services.

A flurry of applications had followed from various government bodies, NGOs and several State governments. Toeing the Centre's line, they argued in one voice that the Supreme Court order stood in the way of crores of Aadhaar holders who wanted easy access to other social benefits schemes and services by restricting Aadhaar to PDS and LPG schemes.

Some of these bodies ínclude the Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Pension Regulatory and Development Authority.