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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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

9271 - Book Review; Privacy Law ;Principles, Injunctions and Compensation By Rishika Taneja and Sidhant Kumar, Eastern Book Company - Live Law



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Book Review; Privacy Law ;Principles, Injunctions and Compensation By Rishika Taneja and Sidhant Kumar, Eastern Book Company, 2014, Rs.1490, Pages 850 

The question whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution was considered recently in Justice K.S.Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Another vs Union of India by a three Judge bench of the Supreme Court.  The bench, however, referred the matter for determination by a larger Bench, because it agreed with the Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi that the legal position regarding the existence of the fundamental right to privacy is doubtful.  The bench said that if the observations in M.P.Sharma and Kharak Singh cases are to be read literally and accepted as the law of this country, the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India and more particularly right to liberty under Article 21 would be denuded of vigour and vitality.  The bench felt that the pronouncements made by larger benches of Supreme Court could not be ignored by the smaller benches without appropriately explaining the reasons for not following them.  The bench found certain amount of apparent unresolved contradiction in the law declared by this Court on the question. This book predates the order by the three-Judge bench placing the matter for determination by a larger bench, and this review appears at a time when the Chief Justice of India is yet to constitute such a bench.  Therefore, the public discourse on the issue does not find a mention in this book. However, the authors appear to be fairly convinced that the right to privacy is a fundamental right.  In Chapter 5, ‘Balancing Competing Rights’, the authors state that privacy is a right of equal measure as any other fundamental right.  Yet, they suggest that there are several instances wherein the societal or public interest is served by infringement in privacy; therefore, privacy does have to give way for larger public interest. In the Justice K.S.Puttaswamy case, it is alleged that the Central Government’s “Aadhaar” card scheme, which involves collection of biometric data of the residents of the country, is violative of the right to privacy.  Right to privacy, it is argued, is implied in Article 21. The book has a section on the Aadhaar Card Project in Chapter 27 dealing with E-Governance and Public Databases: Privacy concerns. The National Identification Authority Bill, 2010 comes for detailed scrutiny by the authors.  Citing the Report of the Group of Experts on Privacy, chaired by Justice AP Shah, the authors assert that the voluntary nature of the collection of biometric information is compromised. The authors are of the view that the Bill has grave implications for the rights of individuals to privacy and data protection particularly in the absence of any law that effect. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of Planning on December 3, 2010 during the previous UPA regime and it has been pending since then.  It was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance, which submitted its report on December 13, 2011. The Committee had recommended that the government reconsider the UID scheme and introduce a new Bill.   More important, the committee felt that the passage of a national data protection law is pre-requisite before any law dealing with large scale collection of information from individuals and linkages across databases.  In the Aadhaar case before the Supreme Court, the Central Government defended the scheme, but there is no information on whether it is keen on reviving the pending bill in Parliament. The book has six parts. Fundamental principles and framework of privacy law are discussed under Part I.  Part II is the most interesting part in the entire book, with as many as six chapters discussing  the balancing of rights.  Freedom of expression, press freedom, privacy of public figures and celebrities, are some of the issues dealt with in this section. Part III deals with use of existing torts to protect privacy.  Defamation, breach of confidence, the tort of personality rights, use of tort actions for privacy protection and breach of privacy tort in Indian law are some issues discussed at length here. Part IV is on law enforcement and privacy.  Telephone tapping and online privacy issues get detailed scrutiny in Part V.  Privacy in Health records, social networking privacy and financial privacy are some issues dealt under Part VI. The book’s appendices include the relevant judgments of the Supreme Court, and the High Courts, statutory materials and legislative proposals. Although the book is comprehensive in its scope, it may require updating in the next few years, with the fate of the Aadhaar card scheme hanging in balance. Topics:EBC Justice K.S.Puttaswamy Justice K.S.Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Another vs Union of India Law Books Law Books Review privacy law right to privacy is a fundamental right Got Something To Say: Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Let us know what you have to say:

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