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.

Friday, December 23, 2016

10607 - Demonetisation: Be careful! Someone may have already used your ID proof to exchange cash - Business Standard

Two bank employees were booked yesterday for exchanging demonetised notes worth Rs 6 lakh without identification proof
BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

November 14, 2016 Last Updated at 14:50 IST

People queue up outside a bank to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes

Did your bank officials tell you that you ID proof has already been used to withdraw new currency notes? If so, you have been a victim of security breach, where someone has already misused your PAN/Aadhaar card without any attestation to exchange notes.

Several people across the nation were forced to return empty-handed from banks in the last four days, following the Centre’s decision of demonetising old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, as banks ran out of cash within the first few hours of opening. 

Anna Isaac went to Axis Bank on Saturday in Bengaluru, hoping to exchange Rs 3,500. Upon producing her PAN card and mobile number, she was shocked to learn that someone had already used her PAN card to exchange Rs 4,000 the previous day, The New Indian Express reported.

The bank official then asked her for an alternate number, and the only number Anna could remember was her mother’s and she was given cash against it.

“So, what is it? Did someone use my PAN number? Because it’s a breach of my security…” Before I could finish, she tells me, “No, mobile number,” as she hands over the cash, The News Minute reported.

However, her colleague who visited State Bank of India branch to withdraw cash told her that she was not required to provide any mobile number.

Anna said, “Axis bank isn’t my bank, so how would the official even know about a ‘withdrawal’? Did the bank official get my PAN number wrong or did someone really misuse my ID without my knowledge and whom?” the report added.

Anna isn’t the only victim of a possible security breach. Bengaluru MBA student Abhilasha Gowda had to return cashless, even after hours of waiting in a long queue, as someone had already misused her Aadhaar card details.

“The manager said there was no such software to check where and by whom the money was exchanged. I was told the government, not the bank was answerable for the anomaly,” Abhilasha told The Times of India.

Income Tax department needs to tighten the noose on banks

At this juncture, when banks have too much power in their hands, the IT department must implement stringent rules over all the transactions they process. If not, any official could easily forge few hundred ID proofs for black money hoarders and help them convert it into white money, while keeping a cut as their commission.

Two bank employees booked for exchanging demonetised notes worth Rs 6 lakh without identification proof

V. Mallesh, a clerk, handed over demonetized notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 to cashier Radhika and collected equal amount worth Rs 6 lakh in new currency notes of Rs 2,000. They were booked after the manager lodged a complaint with the police. 

Even though they claim that the purpose of the crime was for personal use, officials and police, however, don't believe that the money belonged to him. The source of demonetised notes is yet to be known.

Loopholes over exchanging notes

No regulation: At a time when hoards of people are rushing to banks, officials find it difficult to regulate and keep  track of every transaction they input. Also, some pose as relatives of old or disabled able, and some say their relatives are based outside India. 

There were also reports of IDs being sold across photocopying shops. Regarding the PAN card incident, State Level Bankers’ Committee convener M Mohan Reddy said, “We collect the necessary details of every person who deposits money in the banks, using our in-built system. It will verify all the details of a customer,” he said. He added that the banks would look into the issue of PAN card misuse” The New Indian Express reported.

Multiple ID proofs: Although people are permitted to withdraw Rs 4,500 once in the next 50 days, people may have three-four ID proofs which they can present to different banks on different days. Several photocopying outlets have ran out of ink, as millions are photocopying all ID cards to find their way through the newly implemented law.

What is the proof of identity?

Rahul Srivastav, a police officer from Uttar Pradesh, tweeted:

Important: Prevent Misuse of Yr ID Proof in #bank deposits & exchange. Pls read & share #uppolice #DeMonetisation
Be cautious: While submitting the photocopy of your ID proof, make sure that you mention the purpose of exchanging old notes, along with the date and your signature. 

Several others have taken out on twitter the precautionary measures one must take: