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


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


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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

9929 - Tax department’s dilemma: How to ensure universal seeding of Aadhaar with PAN - Live Mint

 Wed, May 04 2016. 10 18 AM IST

Tax department wants to ensure that all PANs are seeded with Aadhaar to weed out duplicate PANs and check tax evasion

Remya Nair

New Delhi: The tax department is faced with a dilemma.
It wants to ensure that all permanent account numbers (PAN) are seeded with Aadhaar to weed out duplicate PANs and check tax evasion. However, it does not have any powers under the Income Tax Act to compulsorily seek the Aadhaar number from taxpayers.

Because of this, so far, only around one-third of PANs have been seeded with Aadhaar.

To counter this, it is exploring ways to further incentivize taxpayers to encourage them to voluntarily link their Aadhaar to PAN.

According to data available with the tax department, more than 24 crore PAN numbers have been issued by the tax department. Of this, around 11 lakh have been declared invalid due to various reasons, including multiple issuance to the same taxpayer.

With Aadhaar, issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), also crossing the one billion coverage mark, the tax department is hopeful that it will successfully cross-tab PAN and Aadhaar and successfully weed out more duplicate issuances.

The income tax department has been using technology to match personal details to ensure that duplicate PANs are not issued. However, some taxpayers managed to get more than one PAN by making some changes in their personal information at the time of submission of the PAN application. By linking PAN with Aadhaar—a 12-digit number unique to every individual as it captures biometric information like fingerprints and iris scan—the tax department is trying to ensure that one individual holds only one PAN.

PAN is a 10-digit alpha-numeric number allotted by the income tax department and is mandatory for conducting tax transactions and high-value financial transactions. This helps the tax department detect tax evasion and circulation of black money.

“The Income Tax Act empowers us to mandatorily ask for the PAN number. But it does not give us the powers to mandatorily ask taxpayers about their Aadhaar number,” said an income tax department official, who did not wish to be identified. “The law ministry has also pointed this out. So, we are looking at ways to further incentivize taxpayers to give their Aadhaar number voluntarily,” the official added.

At present, the tax department collects information on Aadhaar through various procedural incentives. For instance, there is an additional column in the PAN application form for taxpayers to give their Aadhaar number. However, this is not mandatory. Also, there is a similar column in the income tax return form, but here again, the taxpayer has the option to leave it blank.
As an incentive, the tax department had introduced a provision last year, wherein taxpayers could digitally verify the tax return form using Aadhaar-based authentication without having to post their signed tax return acknowledgement to the central processing centre in Bengaluru.

B.M. Singh, former chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, said using Aadhaar will help in checking the proliferation of duplicate PANs.

“The fruitful approach will be to incentivize taxpayers to disclose their Aadhaar. The tax department should look at more ways to encourage taxpayers to voluntarily disclose Aadhaar,” he said.