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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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

9449 - A textbook example of a Money Bill - Businessstandard

Arun Jaitley 
March 5, 2016 Last Updated at 21:46 IST


Mallikarjun Kharge (Gulbarga MP): To avoid the Rajya Sabha, the government is taking it as a Money Bill... (Interruptions)

Sumitra Mahajan, Lok Sabha Speaker: The question is that leave be granted to introduce a Bill to provide for, good governance; efficient, transparent, and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India, to individuals residing in India through assigning of unique identity numbers to such individuals and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The motion was adopted.

Arun Jaitley (finance minister): Madam, I introduce the Bill.

Kharge: Madam, I would like to have one clarification. Hon minister may tell us whether this is a Money Bill or not... (Interruptions)... You make your intentions clear. This itself shows that you want to avoid the Rajya Sabha.

Jaitley: Madam, this Bill is substantially and significantly different from the Bill that my learned colleagues are talking about. The principal purpose, the pith and substance of this Bill is that whoever gets the benefits of any form of government subsidies Aadhaar Card production may be necessary (for them). It is on expenditure of the government exclusively. All such Bills in the past have been Money Bills. Workmen (Injuries) Act has been a Money Bill. Juvenile Justice Bill, introduced in 1986 by their government, was a Money Bill. I can give a whole list of them. This is strictly in accordance with Article 110. I have introduced the Bill. It is for the Speaker to now examine it and certify whether it is a Money Bill or not and that ruling is final... (Interruptions)

Kharge: Madam, there was clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill in the Standing Committee... (Interruptions)

Jaitley: When you were in power no Money Bill was ever introduced. Is that your case? There is a scheme of a Money Bill. There is a particular methodology of a Money Bill. It has to satisfy the ingredients of the Money Bill… (Interruptions) I do not know how the Juvenile Justice Bill was considered a Money Bill.

Bhartruhari Mahtab (Cuttack MP): As per Rule 72 (1), "If a motion for leave to introduce a Bill is opposed, the Speaker, if she thinks fit after permitting brief statements from the members who oppose the motion and the member who moved the motion may without further debate put the question." A proviso is also there. I had also intended to give a notice, before or after the introduction of the Bill, contesting the introduction of the Bill. But I would be very frank today and say that I could not give the notice before 10 o'clock. I asked Saugatada whether he has given a notice or not. He is not present here. It is because many a time both of us consult each other. But it all depends on the Chair to allow us to speak a few words on this Bill because this Bill has been a contentious issue for many years as Jyotiradityaji has mentioned. This Bill was introduced during the time of the UPA and it had been referred to the Standing Committee. The Committee had come out with a number of objections. As far as I remember, this Bill also is a part of the Rajya Sabha and whether it has been withdrawn or not, we are not aware. It was supposed to be withdrawn today. That is what the Rajya Sabha agenda had said. Today, the basic concern was being expressed about Aadhaar number because that was the issue which went to the Supreme Court. The legality of this went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, of course, gave a judgement. But the major issue was whether the Aadhaar number should be an evidence of citizenship or domicile. That was a point of concern and that has been mentioned in this Bill. The other concern was whether adequate firewall has been created to protect the privacy of every citizen. I still have my doubt. Then its legality also comes in view that if I am not interested to be a part of this scheme of things, I will be denied a number of things that will be provided through this number.

I am not going into its merits but I am saying that I will be denied my right. That is the point of concern. I think on that basis, this Bill needs to be clarified.

Jaitley: Madam, may I clarify Mahtab's point? This Bill is significantly different from the earlier Bill. This Bill confines itself only to governmental expenditure and that the real beneficiaries must get governmental expenditure. There is a clear ruling in regard to a machinery for either collection of money or spending money. There is a clear ruling of Mavalankar from this Chair that merely because a machinery is provided which will verify this does not make a Bill, ceases to be a Money Bill. It will continue to be a Money Bill because you cannot have any Bill which only has one provision either a taxing provision or a spending provision. A machinery will have to be provided for how the money is to be spent. Therefore, Mavalankar, as Speaker, said that under Article 110 merely because a machinery is provided it does not cease to be a Money Bill. Now we examined every fact and both the points which Mahtab has raised. Section 9 says this Aadhaar Number will not confer any citizenship. There is a categorical declaration in the Bill. Under Section 28, security and confidentiality of information has been squarely addressed. Therefore, the grounds of privacy on which it was challenged have already been addressed in this particular Bill. All that the Bill says is that if you want the benefit of a government subsidy, the government can ask you to produce an Aadhaar number. That is all it says.

Mahtab: But Section 33 is still a point of concern.

Mahajan: First thing is that nobody has given any notice. Now the Bill has already been introduced... (Interruptions)

Kharge: I had written a letter to Naiduji yesterday evening. The Members of the other House have also written letters to Naiduji. So instead of bringing additional agenda, they could have brought it in the routine course.

Mahajan: That is my prerogative. I have allowed him.

M Venkaiah Naidu (urban development minister): Madam Speaker, it is a fact that Khargeji wrote to me. But the point is the Bill was circulated earlier and then it is introduced today. Now it is over. You can discuss about the merits when the Bill is taken up for consideration. It is a question of saving of Rs 20,000 crore for the country. Let us wait… (Interruptions)

Jaitley: I will give a list to Kharge when his party was in power. The Juvenile Justice Bill, 1986 - it was a Money Bill. African Development Bank Bill, 1983 - it was a Money Bill. Workmen Injury Compensation, 1963, was a Money Bill. Please look into your own track record. This is a Bill, which is a textbook example of squarely being a Money Bill because it only deals with government expenditure… (Interruptions)

Mahajan: It is my prerogative.

Edited excerpts from a discussion on the procedure to be adopted in the classification of Bills as Money Bills before they are introduced in the House; Lok Sabha in New Delhi on March 3