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.


Friday, March 18, 2016

9547 - 'Aadhaar bill has measures to guard privacy, aims at subsidy reach' - Business Standard

IANS  |  New Delhi 
March 16, 2016 Last Updated at 17:16 IST

The Aadhaar bill has strict provisions to safeguard privacy of the citizens, and it is aimed at ensuring that subsidies reach the right beneficiaries, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.

Moving the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, in the Rajya Sabha, he also responded to the objections raised by the opposition members at it being designated a money bill, saying that the Lok Sabha speaker's decision to do so cannot be questioned.
"The core of this bill is government money is being spent by central and state governments. When you spend that money in order to ensure that money reaches the right man, you insist on the identity of the person.

"If subsidies are given as unquantified amounts to unidentified sections, then non-merit people will get subsidies and merit people will not get it... So, for people to get the benefit of subsidies, the production of UID or other alternative document has to be the pre-condition," he said.

Jaitley said that the present bill borrows certain ideas from the UPA bill that every citizen needs to have a unique identification number but beyond that the new bill was "completely different in pith and substance".

"The previous UPA government had also brought a legislation on Aadhaar. In that bill, the purpose of the personal data and biometrics information collected through the exercise was not defined," he said.

"Compared to the UPA bill, the proposed law lays down a very strict procedure, the privacy law is much more tightened," he said.

Jaitley emphasised that under the bill, personal information of a person would be shared only on the basis of his consent, and the "core biometric data" will not be shared even if there is consent.

"The only ground on which data can be shared is national security. One authority will be created in Delhi," he said, adding that the decision of that authority will be reviewed by an authority headed by the cabinet secretary.

"We have further tightened privacy laws much more than what UPA had done. Only ground now is national security which every member agrees individual right has to give way to national security," he said.

On it being made a money bill, he said: "Article 110 decides what a money bill is. If money flows into consolidated fund of India and money flows out of consolidated fund of India, and a law yields with that matter it becomes a money bill."

"Article 110(3) says clearly it is satisfaction of speaker of Lok Sabha that is final... Once the speaker satisfies herself and says I certify it is a money bill, it will be a money bill and no authority in the country can question that provision," he said.
He also rejected Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury's argument that government was being haste in bringing the law as a five-member bench of Supreme Court is looking into the Aadhaar case.

"Sub-judice an argument which is available when issues of individual culpability are pending in the court, you don't prejudice a trial or hearing in a court by discussing it in a parliamentary forum," he said, adding that if the government waited for matters in court, petitions would be filed on other legislations as well.

"...If that would happen there will be a third chamber in Supreme Court to legislate and both houses will have lost their power."

"Because an unlegislated executive action of a government has been challenged in the court, parliament does not lose its right to legislate," he added.

The Aadhaar bill intends to provide for targeted delivery of subsidies and services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers, called Aadhaar numbers.

The bill was brought in the Lok Sabha as a money bill, which restricts the upper house's role as its members cannot amend the bill, but only recommend amendments, which will go back to the Lok Sabha and the lower house can choose to pass or reject them.