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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Saturday, April 9, 2016

9776 - Row over Aadhaar bill: What Congress wants to achieve by moving SC - Hindustan Times

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New DelhiUpdated: Apr 08, 2016 12:37 IST

The Narendra Modi government brought the Aadhaar bill to give legal backing to its ambitious programme of allotting a unique identity number to people and using it for a wide range of government services. (HT Photo)

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Aadhaar bill being classified as a money bill.

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was passed after finance minister Arun Jaitley sought to allay the Opposition’s apprehensions concerning the bill during the Budget session this February.


The move is likely to kick up another political storm between the BJP-ruled centre and the Congress. A breakdown of what the Aadhaar bill is and what could come of the petition.

Why is there a bill for Aadhaar?
The Narendra Modi government brought the Aadhaar or the UIDAI bill to give legal backing to its ambitious programme of allotting a unique identity number to people and using it for a wide range of government services. As the Aadhaar scheme was launched through an executive decision, the Centre faced legal hurdles to make it mandatory for different activities like distribution of scholarships, wage payment, etc.

On what grounds has former rural development minister Jairam Ramesh moved court?

Ramesh expressed reservations about how the bill was passed, rather than the bill itself.

“I am not opposed to the Aadhaar bill. But I am opposed to the way it was passed as a money bill. I have appealed to the Supreme Court to know if the Aadhaar bill could indeed be called as a money bill.”

According to the law, any bill that has provisions for imposition and abolition of taxes, for appropriation of moneys out of the Consolidated Fund, etc., are certified as money bills. The Parliament rule says it is for the Lok Sabha Speaker to decide if a bill is fit to be a money bill.

Why has the Congress moved court now?
For a political party, taking legal recourse is always the last recourse. One may argue that the principal Opposition party had an opportunity to move court when the Aadhaar bill was introduced in the Lower House on March 3. But the Congress had raised objections then as well and Ramesh himself had moved three key amendments to the bill in Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had rejected the amendments and passed the bill by a voice vote.

What does the Congress want to achieve?
Ramesh says the Aadhaar bill is just an example of how the Modi government is pushing the Rajya Sabha — where the government is in minority — to irrelevance. “The bill had grave implications for the future of the Upper House. It showed that in this way, the government can push any bill in Parliament as a money bill because it has a brute majority in the Lok Sabha. PM Modi has actually shown how the Rajya Sabha can be completely marginalised,” Ramesh said.

What if the apex court declares Aadhaar bill as not a money bill?
In all probability, the current bill will be considered null and void. The government will have to go back to the Parliament to pass a fresh bill if it wants to give Aadhaar a legal backing. Ramesh, however, denied that he wants this current bill to be scrapped.

“My submission to the Supreme Court is on a limited point of the Constitution: Whether or not it’s a money bill?”


Any result is unlikely to come soon as proceedings on such constitutional issues generally take time to be decided in court. Effectively, uncertainty on the Aadhaar law will continue for a long time.