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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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

9847 - Name Of The Bill - Indian Express


Lok Sabha should create consultative mechanism for speaker to certify a money bill.

Written by M R Madhavan | Published:April 15, 2016 12:27 am -

The Aadhaar bill was passed by Parliament as a money bill. The Lok Sabha rejected the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha. A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging its classification as a money bill. In this context, it would be instructive to see why some bills are labelled as money bills and require only the Lower House to pass them.

India has a bicameral Parliament. The purpose of the second House is to be a revising chamber. Any legislation must be passed by each House by a simple majority. This provides a check on hasty decisions.

Following the procedure in the British parliament, our Constitution makes an exception for money bills. The British parliament, over the centuries, built up checks against the monarch’s power. It required all government expenditure to be sanctioned by parliament. It also forbade new taxes unless parliament provided for them by law. Parliament could stop any expenditure plans of the government and bring it to a standstill. 

In such a case, the government cannot function and would be expected to resign. Given that the government requires the confidence of the Lower House, the corollary is that only the Lower House should have decision-making powers on such bills.

In other words, money bills are an exception to the rule that bills need to be passed by each House. Therefore, there is a need to provide limits on the usage of this procedure. Our Constitution specifies six conditions for any bill to be a money bill, and states that the bill should have only these features, or any item incidental to it. The six conditions pertain to taxes, government borrowings and expenditure.

Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice says the following. “A bill which contains any of the enumerated matters and nothing besides is indisputably a ‘money bill’. If it contains any other matters, then, unless these are ‘subordinate matters incidental to’ any of the matters so contained in the bill, the bill is not a money bill. Further, if the main object of a bill is to create a new charge on the Consolidated Fund or on money provided by Parliament, the bill will not be certified if it is apparent that the primary purpose of the new charge is not purely financial.”

In this context, does the Aadhaar bill fit the money bill criteria? 

The bill provides for a mechanism to identify a person using biometrics, and states that this could be used for providing subsidies or government services. However, it also allows the Aadhaar system to be used for other purposes. Therefore, it seems to contain matters other than those that are incidental to expenditure from the Consolidated Fund. That is, it does not seem to fit the requirement of “only” the matters listed.

Our Constitution also follows the British procedure that provides the speaker with the authority to certify a bill as a money bill. However, there is a key difference. The House of Commons appoints two senior members who must be consulted before the speaker gives the certificate. In India, the speaker makes the decision on her own.

Can the speaker’s decision be challenged? 
The Constitution says the decision of the speaker shall be final. However, there are several instances in which Parliament’s decisions have been subjected to judicial review. These include decisions made by speakers under the anti-defection law. Also, in a recent judgment, a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court decided that the privilege of legislatures was subject to judicial review, and repealed a resolution of the Punjab legislative assembly to expel Amarinder Singh for the rest of its term. It remains to be seen whether the court will consider the writ petition.

Though the bill has been passed, this issue needs debate as it sets a precedent. An immediate case is the Finance Bill, 2016, which includes structural changes to the RBI Act to enable statutory backing for a monetary policy committee. The question is whether such a bill can be certified as a money bill, which will enable these amendments to be made without the concurrence of the Rajya Sabha. Perhaps it may help if the Lok Sabha creates a consultative mechanism before the speaker certifies a bill as a money bill.

The writer works with PRS Legislative Research, New Delhi.

- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/aadhaar-bill-money-bill-name-of-the-bill-2754080/#sthash.9zLk7SMe.dpuf