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


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


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.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

8938 - Supreme Court seeks clarifications from Govt on Aadhaar Ashpreet Sethi

Ashpreet Sethi  | October 14, 2015

The Aadhaar case has moved to a bigger Constitutional Bench even as the government is considering Aadhaar-linking of all social schemes.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought clarifications from the government on the Aadhaar applications so that it can consider allowing the use of unique identity card on a voluntary basis.

The Aadhaar case has moved to a bigger Constitutional Bench given the complexity and gravity of the matter especially at a time when the government is considering Aadhaar-linking of all social schemes.

Last week, the government sought early hearing of the Aadhaar case by the Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench while putting up a strong case for getting an early hearing as there was an ardent need to link

Aadhaar to roll out an array of social schemes. All social benefit
schemes for crores of people have come to a halt due to no interim order on Aadhaar.

The apex court has already referred all cases related to the unique ID card to the larger bench after rejecting a plea for an interim relief.

The apex court had in its interim order permitted the government to link Aadhaar for availing subsidy only for LPG and PDS schemes but reiterated that Aadhaar will not be made mandatory for availing government services.

On September 29, the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities and
Exchange Board of India and the Unique Identification Authority of India have approached the Supreme Court of India seeking a modification of its earlier order that had given the Government the liberty to link Aadhaar cards on a voluntary basis for availing subsidy under LPG and public distribution schemes.

Legal experts including senior advocate Harish Salve feels it was
worrisome for the government to roll out social schemes in absence of Aadhaar, which has a huge data base second only to China. The government cannot initiate a new parallel system to Aadhaar, experts pointed out.

Last month, RBI asked the Supreme Court to permit them to link Aadhaar cards for availing banking services and identification of citizens on voluntary basis. SEBI has sought a clarification from the apex court urging it to let the regulator link Aadhaar numbers for services in securities markets and for compliance of KYC norms.

The UIDAI 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. UIDAI is seeking
clearance to include Aadhaar’s use for schemes like biometric
attendance system, digital certificates and pension payments among others.

Petitioners including Justice Puttaswamy, who challenged the validity of Aadhaar cards, said they are determined to oppose these appeals filed by the government and different institutions terming this move as an indirect way to force citizens to get their Aadhaar cards in place.

The bench hearing these appeals is also looking into allegations of breach of individual’s privacy by the government in absence of oversight and possible misuse of information.