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 16, 2015

8944 - Nobody should be at disadvantageous position for want of Aadhaar cards: Supreme Court - Economic Times

By PTI | 14 Oct, 2015, 09.59PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today took note of Centre's plea that Aadhaar cards be allowed to be used "voluntarily" for welfare programmes other than PDS and LPG schemes and asked whether it can assure that nobody would be at a "disadvantageous" position for want of Aadhaar. 

"Do you (Centre) make it a precedent for giving benefits of schemes? Do you say that a person will not be put to a disadvantageous position because of lack of Aadhaar?" a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi when he pitched strongly for voluntary use of Aadhaar to provide benefits of various welfare schemes to "the poorest of poor"

"The answer to the question (whether Aadhaar would be voluntary) is : Yes. If the court wants, the affidavit of the highest functionary will be available by 10.30 am tomorrow," the Attorney General said and reiterated time and again during the two-hour-long hearing that nobody will be deprived of any benefits for either want of Aadhaar or for not using it. 

The bench, also comprising Justices M Y Eqbal, C Nagappan, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, may continue hearing the matter tomorrow also as the advancing of arguments on pleas of the Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, TRAI, the Pension Fund Regulatory Authority and states like Gujarat and Jharkhand for modification of the August 11 order remained inconclusive. 

During the hearing, the court also observed that though it is often said that Aadhaar is not mandatory, but at times, some authorities do "insist" on it. 

A three-judge bench had on August 11 referred a batch of petitions, challenging Aadhaar cards scheme, to a larger bench for an authoritative view on the question as to whether the right to privacy is fundamental right or not and had also restricted the use of Aadhaar to PDS and LPG scheme only. 

Rohatgi, initiating arguments, referred to the facts about the Aadhaar, the background of the cases, their reference to the CJI for setting up of larger bench and the reasons for interim pleas of the Centre and its bodies for modification of the order for voluntary use of the Aadhaar cards in other welfare schemes like MNREGA, pension and 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana'. 

At the outset, the court made it clear that it would take up the issue of modification of the order only and will not go into the merits of the questions referred for adjudication by the Constitutional bench. 

"I have not made a decision as to whether it will go before a nine judge or 11 judge bench. We are concerned with the applications filed by the Central government and others," it said. 

Rohatgi said over 92 crore citizens had been issued Aadhaar cards by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and since the court has already stated that it will not be mandatory, there should not be any problem in allowing Aadhaar to be used on voluntarily basis to establish the identity of persons and make available the benefits of other welfare schemes as well. 

He submitted that crores of rupees have been spent on the UIDAI scheme to connect six lakh villages of the country with various welfare measures like MNREGA, pension schemes, Jan Dhan Yojana etc and 85,000 bank correspondents have been put on job to reach the beneficiaries at their doorsteps. 

He also explained the role of bank correspondents who will help the beneficiaries to realise welfare scheme benefits and also help them in opening bank accounts at the doorsteps. 

Further, the Aadhaar cards would help in stopping fake withdrawal of money arising out of welfare scheme and pensioners would not have to visit the pension officer every year in November to establish they are alive, he said. 

"The Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana Scheme is unique and even if a person has no money to open the account, the bank correspondent will help in opening the account with zero balance," the Attorney General said while equating the benefits of Aadhaar cards with that of mobile phones. 

He gave various examples including of an old infirm lady, who cannot go to bank and said that Aadhaar will enable her to authenticate her identity and withdraw or deposit money to her bank. 

Rohatgi said schemes under the Aadhaar cards would be for financial inclusion of those left out and rubbished the objections against it, saying it was by those who are rich and effluent having million other means to realise their needs. 

Rohatgi also said, "If you do not want to use it. Please do not use it. But, why to stop 92 crore persons from using it voluntarily." 

He also said that it is the "most widely held ID cards" and the petitioners cannot speak on behalf of crores of Aadhaar card holders. 

The submissions of Rohatgi was supported by additional solicitor general P S Patwalia and Tushar Mehta and battery of senior lawyers including L Nageshwar Rao, Jayant Bhushan who appeared on behalf of various government bodies. 

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, opposed any modification of the august 11 order, saying Aadhaar is neither backed by any law nor by any notification and is an example of "disturbing incursions" into the life of citizens. 

"This is not happening in any democracies of the world," he said and referred to the previous orders passed by the court restricting the use of Aadhaar cards to only two schemes. 

Later, the bench said that it would continue to hear it and explore the possibility of making available the same bench. 

Earlier, the court had assured the Centre and others that it will take on their plea seeking setting up a larger bench for modifying an earlier order restricting the voluntary use of Aadhaar card to PDS and LPG schemes only. 

Prior to it, the court, while terming Aadhaar as optional, had barred the authorities from sharing personal biometric data collected for enrollment under the scheme. 

It had also passed a slew of directions for the Centre till the matter was finally decided by a larger bench. 

UIDAI, established by UPA-2 in 2009, issues Aadhaar cards to the citizens. 

Under the programme, every citizen is to be provided with a 12-digit unique identification number for which biometric information is collected. 

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