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.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

8915 - CJI Dattu to head Constitution Bench on Aadhaar validity - Tribune India

Posted at: Oct 11 2015 1:25AM


R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, October 10

Chief Justice HL Dattu has set up a five-member Bench headed by him to go into the constitutional validity and usage of Aadhaar. The other members of the Bench are: Justices MY Eqbal, C Nagappan, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy.

The Constitution Bench will have its first sitting on October 14 to take up a batch of PILs by retired high court judge KS Puttaswamy and others challenging the collection of people’s biometrics such as finger prints and iris for enrolling them under the Aadhaar scheme.

It will also consider pleas for enlarging the scope of Aadhaar for using the card for payment of wages under the employment guarantee scheme (MNREGA) and old age pension, issue of SIM cards to cell phone users and share certificates to investors and for banking and insurance transactions.

The government, statutory bodies and their agencies have contended that wider use of Aadhaar was necessary to fight black money and terrorism and prevent the misuse and diversion of huge funds earmarked for MNREGA and other welfare schemes meant for the poor and the middle class.

On the other hand, the petitioners have pleaded that people could not be forced to disclose their biometrics that too to private companies, some of them based abroad. The companies were selected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), set up by an official order without any statutory backing, for the Aadhaar scheme.

Collection of biometrics without explaining to the people about its possible misuse to snoop on them and other consequences was in violation their fundamental right to privacy, they have pleaded.Rejecting this contention, the government maintained that privacy was not a fundamental right and none of the welfare schemes meant could be successful unless it was allowed to use Aadhaar for their implementation.

The unique number on each Aadhaar card and the biometrics data would eliminate bogus and ghost claimants to benefits under the welfare schemes, the government has contended.

On August 11, a 3-member Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar passed an interim order restricting the use of Aadhaar for providing subsidy on foodgrains and kerosene sold through the public distribution system (PDS) and on cooking gas (LPG). This Bench subsequently rejected pleas for enlarging the scope of Aadhaar, observing that it was not in a position to entertain pleas for relaxing the curbs as it had already referred the PILs to a larger Bench for deciding the card’s on the basis of right to privacy.

Upon this, the government and others approached the CJI pleading for immediate formation of the Constitution Bench to at least go into the plea for easing the curbs on an urgent basis in the interest of 96 crore people who had opted for Aadhaar.