The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Monday, March 7, 2016

9414 - Budget 2016: Jaitley ready to push for a law to give legal status to Aadhaar - First Post

By Rakesh Bhatnagar

The prime concern for finance minister Arun Jaitley after delivering the Budget on Monday is to move a Bill that gives statutory status to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which enrolls people for Aadhaar card.

Since the government will now link all subsidies and monetary benefits to a large section of beneficiaries with Aadhaar card, it becomes incumbent that the UIDAI is accorded legal status, which its creator Congress-led UPA couldn’t during its tenure, and take guard against the Supreme Court’s intervention on the issue whether this unique identity card violates right to privacy of citizens.

The UPA government had moved the National Identification Authority of India (NIDAI) Bill 2010 in the Rajya Sabha to provide statutory backing to its Aadhaar scheme, but it could not get the approval of Parliament because of little support from its key opponent BJP.
It was on the argument made by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that right to privacy could be voluntarily surrendered by people in order to avail the monetary subsidies provided by the government, the top court had slammed the government saying no scheme could violate the fundamental right of privacy.
Serious doubts were, however, raised on the Aadhaar card scheme as the government hadn’t been able to set up its statutory authority.

In October 2015, Supreme Court had issued an interim order rejecting mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for availing benefits or subsidies or services of government and said that the Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by it.
Can an individual voluntarily waive his right to privacy by enrolling for Aadhaar? The Supreme Court had its reservation, thus referred this question for consideration by a Constitution Bench of at least five judges while refusing to modify its August 11, 2015 interim order restricting the use of Aadhaar to identify beneficiaries for the subsidies.

In a talk on national TV channel, Jaitley on Monday said the government will soon pilot a Bill to effectuate statutory status to UIDAI so that Aadhaar card is mandatory.

It is learnt that the Aadhaar (Delivery of Benefits, Subsidies and Services) Bill 2016 is ready and may be piloted in this current session in Lok Sabha.

This proposed legislation would grant statutory footing to Aadhaar card.

Attorney General Rohatgi has opined that the government could move the Bill as Money Bill under Articles 109 and 110 of the Constitution.

The Modi government also has plans to withdraw National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, from Rajya Sabha.
Jaitley says the proposed Bill wouldn’t interfere with the issue of privacy which is awaiting hearing by the Supreme Court. He doesn’t elaborate.

It is learnt that the Bill could help the government counter concerns raised over privacy and data security. It provides for proof of Aadhaar number as a condition for receipt of benefit and subsidy funded by the Consolidated Fund of India.

It is learnt that a framework is needed for effective implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes. Thus, all benefits, subsidies or services funded from the consolidated fund of India, should be through Aadhaar platform.
Though details of the Bill are awaited, it takes care of legislation, privacy and data security.
A retired judge, Justice K.S. Puttaswamy, who challenged the legality of Aadhaar had raised primary concern that whether the collection and storing of biometric and other information would compromise a citizen’s right to privacy.
Until date over 98 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated. On an average 26 lakh biometric and over 1.5 lakh e-KYC transactions are prepared every day.
Aadhaar numbers have been fed in 11.19 crore Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) accounts out of total 16.5 crore DBTL beneficiaries.
Why statutory status to Aadhaar card is imperative? Jaitley says at a time when the government is determined to wipe out pilferage in distribution of subsidy meant for the rightful claimants, a unique number linked to bank account of the claimant is necessary.
The proposed food subsidy bill is of Rs 1.35 lakh crore, Fertiliser subsidies total to Rs 70,000 crore, petroleum bill at Rs 26,947 crore and another Rs 38,500 crore to the BPL farm labourers engaged in minor construction works 150 days in a year under MNREGA.
The Union Cabinet approved direct benefit transfer to beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) as it noted that delayed payments had been one of the biggest drawbacks of the affirmative scheme under which Rs 34,000 crore had been allocated this fiscal.
Direct benefit transfer ensures that scheme funds do not get indefinitely parked with the state finance departments or diverted to the vested interests in the government.