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, February 3, 2016

9288 - SC constitution bench likely to hear Aadhaar case this week - Live Mint

Last Modified: Mon, Jan 25 2016. 01 50 AM IST


UID was challenged on the grounds that the move to collect information from individuals and sharing such data is a violation of the right to privacy


The government has contended in the court that right to privacy is not a fundamental right under the Constitution. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court is likely to hear the Aadhaar case this week.
The petitioners in the case had challenged the unique identification (UID) number on the grounds that the move to collect information from individuals and sharing such data is a violation of the right to privacy, especially in the absence of any backing regulation.

The top court, in a 22 January notification, listed seven cases to be taken up by constitution bench (five-judges or more) from 27 January. One of them is regarding the constitutional validity of the unique identification scheme.

The exercise is a part of chief justice T.S. Thakur’s effort to clear pendency of cases, especially those that require interpretation of the Constitution. Constitution bench hearings are scheduled on Mondays and Fridays between 2p.m.-4p.m.

Aadhaar was conceived by the erstwhile Planning Commission, through a notification in January 2009, as an initiative that would provide a unique identity number for each resident of India and be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services.

The government has contended in the court that right to privacy is not a fundamental right under the Constitution.

The ruling on the case will have a bearing on important digital initiatives of the government such as biometric attendance, Jan Dhan Yojana, digital certificates, pension payments and the proposed introduction of payments banks. The success of all these initiatives hinges on the validity of the Aadhaar scheme.
On 11 August, a three-judge bench comprising justices J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde and C. Nagappan restricted the use of Aadhaar to identifying beneficiaries of the public distribution system and subsidies on cooking gas and kerosene.

The same order also referred to a constitution bench for consideration. Subsequently, on 15 October, a five judge-bench comprising former chief justice H.L Dattu and justices M.Y Eqbal, C. Nagappan, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy allowed the use of the Aadhaar number for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, pensions by central and state governments, and the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, in addition to its current use in the public distribution system (PDS) and the distribution of cooking gas and kerosene.

After 27 January, the court will also hear a curative writ petition filed by the government in 2010 seeking a review of the court’s judgment in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy case.

The government had asked for an increase in compensation granted to victims from Rs.750 crore to Rs.7,700 crore. The government has claimed that the terms of the court settlement in 1989 had severely underestimated the number of dead and injured as a result of the tragedy.