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.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

8926 - Aadhaar case: IBA moves Supreme Court, wants to join proceedings - Live Mint



Move strengthens centre’s combined legal defence of the unique identification scheme

Apurva Vishwanath

The Supreme Court has already been moved in favour of the centre by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and at least six state governments. 

New Delhi: The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) on Monday moved the Supreme Court to join the court proceedings in the Aadhaar case, strengthening the centre’s combined legal defence of the unique identification scheme for a range of purposes.

The Supreme Court has already been moved in favour of the centre by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and at least six state governments.

On 9 October, the apex court formed a five-judge constitution bench to hear the centre’s plea seeking a modification of the court’s interim order restricting the use of the Aadhaar unique identity number only for the purposes of identifying beneficiaries of the public distribution system (PDS) and kerosene and cooking gas subsidies.

RBI had sought a clarification from the court on whether the Aadhaar number can be used by banks as customers’ proof of identification.

On 7 October, the court declined to modify the interim order—passed on 11 August— and referred all the applications by parties seeking modification and clarification of the order to a larger constitution bench.

The petition filed by IBA, an association of 210 banks and financial institutions, says that Aadhaar is at the “epicentre” of the implementation of the social benefit schemes and provisions of financial services to the weaker sections and low income group individuals of the society. “The benefits of Aadhaar cannot be deprived to people due to not being able to have documents required for establishing their identity and place of residence,” IBA said.

The central bank has issued various guidelines from time to time to banks and other regulated entities regarding voluntary use of the Aadhaar card by customers for opening bank accounts and availing other financial services.
RBI guidelines also make provisions for e-KYC (know your customer) making use of Aadhaar numbers.

Two separate references have been made to the constitution bench in the Aadhaar case—one seeking modification and clarification of the court’s interim order and the other on potential violation of privacy.

According to Abizer Diwanji, partner, head of financial services at audit and consultancy firm EY, Aadhaar has enabled a reliable and broad-based identification system, specially in rural areas where most people do not have formal cards of identification.
“Using Aadhaar enabled banks and financial institutions to roll out an easy way of doing inclusive business,” he said.

Technologies and initiatives that depend on the Aadhaar unique identity number also include biometric attendance, Jan Dhan Yojana, digital certificates, pension payments and the proposed introduction of payments banks.

However, the petitioners challenging the validity of the Aadhaar scheme have consistently argued that UIDAI, which issues Aadhaar cards, is merely an administrative unit and lacks legislative backing.

The hearings by the constitution bench are scheduled to begin on 14 October.

Saurabh Kumar contributed to this story.