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

9551 - Aadhaar bill is through after Opposition scores a few brownie points - Indian Express


The process of return of the bill saw an animated debate over why it was brought as a money bill. Since it was a money Bill, it could not be rejected or amended by Rajya Sabha.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 17, 2016 4:47 am - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/rajya-sabha-returns-aadhar-bill-to-lok-sabha-with-oppn-amendments/#sthash.JAqsuTIp.dpuf


Hours after the Opposition, making most of the NDA’s lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha, pushed through five amendments and returned the Aadhaar Bill to Lok Sabha, the Lower House rejected the changes suggested and passed the Bill through a voice vote in its original form Wednesday.

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, brought in by the government as a money Bill, was opposed by the Opposition over concerns that access to the biometric database in the interest of national security would compromise privacy.

Since it was a money Bill, it could not be rejected or amended by Rajya Sabha. The Upper House can only make recommendations for amendments but those have to be agreed to by Lok Sabha to become effective. The Lok Sabha can decide not to agree to any of the recommendations — and this is precisely what happened Wednesday. The Rajya Sabha has to return a money Bill within 14 days after receiving it from Lok Sabha, failing which the Bill is considered passed by the Upper House.

RELATED ARTICLE

Participating in the debate in Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, the author of all amendments passed by the Upper House, conceded he was probably indulging in a futile exercise but said it was his, and his party’s duty to suggest changes that he considered necessary to improve the Bill.

“We all know what the end result of this debate will be,” Ramesh said, describing the labelling of the Aadhar Bill as a money Bill an attempt to “knock a nail in the coffin of the Upper House”.

Ramesh had proposed nine amendments in the Bill, but insisted on a vote only on five, each of which was approved. Two of these received 76 votes in support and 64 against, two more got 77 votes in support and 64 against, while one amendment received 76 votes in support and 65 against. Four other amendments, on which Ramesh did not insist on voting, got rejected by voice vote.

The amendments by Ramesh suggested a provision to allow a person to “opt out” of the Aadhaar system, even if already enrolled, and another to ensure that if a person chooses not to be part of the Aadhaar system, he/she would be provided “alternate and viable” means of identification for purposes of delivery of government subsidy, benefit or service.

Another amendment sought to restrict the use of Aadhaar numbers only for targeting of government benefits or service and not for any other purpose.

Ramesh said the government Bill seemed to make Aadhaar numbers mandatory for everyone desirous of claiming government benefits, but the Supreme Court had already ruled against this.

Another of the amendments sought to change the term “national security” to “public emergency or in the interest of public safety” in the provision specifying situations in which disclosure of identity information of an individual to certain law enforcement agencies can be allowed. Ramesh argued that “national security” was a “loose” term liable to be misused in interpretation by the government of the day.

Many other speakers from the Opposition benches criticised the government for labelling the Bill as a money Bill, and said it did not qualify as such. They also cautioned the government against making Aadhaar numbers mandatory for claiming government benefits and services.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while clarifying the points raised by members, said it had been judicially settled in many countries, including the United States, that if an individual wants to claim specific government benefits, asking him or her to enrol for a Aadhaar like programme is not unjust. “You cannot stake a claim to the benefits and at the same time be unwilling to shed privacy concerns,” he said.

But this argument was rejected by the Opposition benches. Sitaram Yechury of CPM, Tapan Sen and D Raja of CPI, and Naresh Agarwal of Samajwadi Party were among those who said they were not satisfied with the clarification.

Independent member Rajeev Chandrasekhar raised the concern that an Aadhaar number could be obtained by non-citizens as well and wanted the government to take steps to prevent such a possibility.

Earlier, the Rajya Sabha witnessed heated exchanges when Jaitley got up to introduce the Aadhaar Bill. Opposition members from the Congress, Left parties, BSP and Samajwadi Party accused the government of attempting to bypass Rajya Sabha. Jaitley spoke for about half an hour explaining why the Bill qualified as a money Bill.

Yechury opposed the Bill on other grounds as well including the fact that it dealt with privacy concerns. He said the Supreme Court was deliberating on a plea that privacy should be recognised as a fundamental right, and hence the government should wait for the court order. But Jaitley said legislation cannot stop just because the court is considering a related matter.

“It is an unprecedented argument, particularly in a democracy which is governed by the separation of powers. The power to legislate belongs to Parliament. It does not belong to the court,” he said.

- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/rajya-sabha-returns-aadhar-bill-to-lok-sabha-with-oppn-amendments/#sthash.JAqsuTIp.dpuf