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.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

10491- SC Stays Mandatory Use Of Aadhaar For Scholarship Schemes - Live Law

SC Stays Mandatory Use Of Aadhaar For Scholarship Schemes [Read Order] By: LiveLaw News Network | September 24, 2016


Read more at: http://www.livelaw.in/sc-stays-mandatory-use-aadhaar-scholarship-schemes-read-order/

The legal questions surrounding Aadhaar continue to trouble the government. Can the government use Aadhaar or not? If it can use, will it be voluntary or mandatory? And it seems that there are no easy answers from the courts.  

On 14 September, the Supreme Court granted an interim stay against the mandatory use of Aadhaar for scholarship schemes given by the Centre. All Bengal Minority Students Council moved the Supreme Court in a civil writ petition in which Gopala Gowda and Adarsh Kumar Goel, JJ directed Ministry of Electronics and Information to remove Aadhaar number as a mandatory condition for student Registration form at the National Scholarship Portal  on the government’s website. 

Senior Advocate Gopal Singh appeared for the petitioners. At least two other cases are currently pending on similar issues. 

The plea  in Delhi High court is on the exact same issue and could likely be infructuous now. Mathew Thomas, the original petitioner in the Aadhaar case has also filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court challenging the mandatory use of Aadhaar for various government schemes. The court has agreed to hear him but has fixed a date. 

The court referred to their interim orders issued in the case challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar which categorically said that the number cannot be mandatory but the government is free to encourage voluntary use. “We will make it clear that Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and cannot be made mandatory till the matter is decided by the court one way or the other,” the court had said in October last year by a bench comprising former chief justice H.L Dattu, and justices M.Y Eqbal, C. Nagappan, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy. 

In the same order, the court allowed Aadhaar to be used for a few more government schemes such as LPG subsidy transfer, PDS ration, MGNREGA, pension schemes and Jan Dhan Yojana. But that was before the Aadhaar law was passed. 

The court’s interim stay order also does not take the new law into consideration, which is going to more confusion on the legal backing for Aadhaar. Earlier this month, the government fully notified the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsides, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 which formally signals the use of Aadhaar based authentication for benefits. Section 7 of the Act, states that for obtaining any benefit, service, subsidy that comes from the Consolidated Fund of India, one would need authentication through Aadhaar. 

If one does not have Aadhaar, then other identification cards will be accepted it says. But clearly, various government agencies have not been adhering to the law. Perhaps the court should intervene and spell out if the new law gives the government more powers to use Aadhaar than before? And the larger question on privacy continues to remain elusive for everybody. 

The court on 11 August last year said that a Constitution bench should rule on whether right to privacy is a fundamental right under the constitution or not. A year has passed since then and the bench is yet to be constituted. Till then, Aadhaar will be clouded with more questions than answers.  Read the Order here.

Read more at: http://www.livelaw.in/sc-stays-mandatory-use-aadhaar-scholarship-schemes-read-order/