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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Thursday, December 8, 2016

10564 - Supreme Court Set to Hear Petition Challenging the Validity of Aadhar Act

First published: October 27, 2016, 9:53 PM IST | 

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet's move to set up an Aadhaar-linked National Academic Depository (NAD) comes on the heels of a Supreme Court hearing on Friday on a writ petition challenging the constitutionality of the new Aadhaar Act.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved setting up of NAD as part of its Digital India campaign under which academic awards and certificates are verified, authenticated, accessed and retrieved in a digital depository. The database is linked to Aadhaar, making it the latest such scheme after a recent circular made Aadhaar compulsory for claiming LPG subsidies.

There were petitions earlier in the court, arguing that these linkages are in violation of an interim order by the apex court dated October 15, 2015, that had limited Aadhaar's voluntary use to six schemes (PDS, NREGA, LPG, NEPS, and social assistance programs).

It had prohibited the government from making Aadhaar mandatory for receiving any benefits or services, and hence the government move amounts to contempt of the court, they argued.

Todays writ petition challenging the vires of the Aadhaar act has been moved by SG Vombatkere and Bezwada Wilson.
The case will come up before the bench presided by Justice Chelameswar on Friday.

Prasanna S, a Delhi-based lawyer who had moved the Supreme Court on behalf of social activist Aruna Roy for the earlier contempt petitions, told News18 that linking Aadhaar to NAD is a “gross violation of the Supreme Court order”.

"This move is nothing but contempt of court," he said, adding, "When a student decides to opt for a government or a private job, does he have a choice of not giving his consent? These are false choices. Now all the corporate entities will also join the NAD bandwagon, further compelling a student to be in the depository," Prasanna said.

Not everyone agrees with Prasanna though.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Bhartruhari Mahtab told News18 that the Narendra Modi government has taken various corrective measures to address the discrepancies that the petitioners have raised. "I don't see any impediment to the NAD being implemented successfully across the country," he said.
In fact, several educational institutions have already voluntarily moved to an Aadhaar-linked online database even before NAD comes into place. Jamia Millia Islamia and Punjabi University, Patiala, among others, recently announced issuance of online graduation and post-graduation certificates, which is also linked to the students' Aadhaar number.

Critics like Dr. Usha Ramanathan, an independent law researcher studying Aadhaar since 2009, maintain that Aadhaar needs to be "called off as a flawed project".

"Time has come for the apex court to be a bulwark against the over-ambitious state," Ramanathan had told News18 a few days before the NAD announcement.

Currently, there are two legal strictures governing the validity of the Aadhaar: one is the apex court order of October 15, 2015, limiting the card's voluntary use to six schemes (PDS, NREGA, LPG, NEPS, & social assistance programs) and prohibits the government from making it mandatory for receiving any benefits or services.

The other is the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, which is under challenge today. Both these strictures have distinct operational status, but recent government directives of making Aadhaar mandatory, petitioners allege, raise the question of whether the interim order of the SC is shadowed by the Aadhaar Act or if the government is in effect defying the orders of the apex court.


A recent directive from the oil ministry making Aadhaar mandatory for claiming LPG subsidy had also fuelled the "contempt" debate. A source in the ministry, however, maintained that the regulation was in accordance with the Aadhaar Act, 2016. "Any person who has an Aadhaar has to produce it, and whoever does not have one will be assisted by the oil companies to enroll for the Aadhaar card," he said, requesting anonymity.