New Delhi, July 15: Maneka Gandhi today wrote to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj requesting children of single mothers be allowed to exclude their father's name from their passports, a day after a divorced mother launched an online petition with the demand.
Sources in Maneka's women and child development ministry said her letter had been spurred by Priyanka Gupta's change.org petition, addressed to her ministry as well as the foreign and home offices, which had collected 25,000 signatures by this evening.
"Have received petitions where #mother/#child have insisted that name of the father should not be mentioned in #passport," Maneka tweeted today, tagging Sushma.
"The petitions involved cases in which the father had abandoned the mother and the court had granted custody of the child to the mother."
She added: "The current guidelines for #passports warrant the name of the father as a mandatory requirement. I have requested Smt @SushmaSwaraj ji to look into the matter & get necessary modifications done in the rules for issuance of #passports."
In her letter, Maneka has cited a Delhi High Court judgment that said earlier this year that in the case of single mothers, her name alone would suffice for her child to apply for a passport.
When the government had argued that the passport office software didn't accept a single parent's application for her child, the court said that this did not make it a legal requirement.
It also cited how, on two previous occasions in 2005 and 2011, passports had been issued without the father's name, which "makes it evident that the said requirement is not a legal necessity but only a procedural formality".
After the verdict, the government gave the relief to the daughter of the petitioner, a single mother, but did not change the rules for others, prompting Gupta's petition.
"My husband abandoned my daughter and me when she was born just because she was a girl. He never looked back and doesn't even care whether we're dead or alive," Gupta's petition says.
"Recently, I applied for the passport of my daughter. My daughter doesn't want her father's name on the document. Our application was denied and we were told that both names are required."
Gupta says the passport office's logic was that her husband's name occurs in her daughter Garima's birth certificate ---- although the college-going teen's Aadhaar card, voter ID card and bank account only carry a single parent's name: her mother's.
She told The Telegraph the passport office demands the father's name wherever it's possible to identify a father, making an exception only for the children of single adoptive mothers. "Why should a divorced woman suffer?" she asked.
Gupta said she had applied for her daughter's passport in 2014, when Garima was a minor.
"She got the passport only when I relented and put in her father's name. She hates me for it. My humble request is for the Prime Minister and the home ministry to look into this matter and help single parents, both fathers and mothers."
Garima says she doesn't want her father's name on her passport.
"I need my passport, it's a necessity, but I don't want it with the name of a man who abandoned us because of me being a girl. To him, I am dead and honestly, I don't care about him either," she has said in a comment attached to her mother's petition.
"I have my voter's identity card, Aadhaar card, my 10th and 12th pass certificates --- all in my name and my mom's, then why not my passport?"
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
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.