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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Monday, January 16, 2017

10670 - Money bill battle erupts in Rajya Sabha - Telegraph India


Basant Kumar Mohanty


New Delhi, Dec. 1: Senior Congress leaders in the Rajya Sabha had a battle of words with the government and the Chair over alleged misuse of the money bill route to get bills passed in Parliament.

A brief discussion on a demand for a committee to examine the use of the money bill route led to the verbal duel between the treasury benches and deputy chairman P.J. Kurien on one side and Congress leaders P. Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh on the other. Samajwadi Party leaders Naresh Agrawal and Ramgopal Yadav had called for the committee to be set up.

Opposition parties have in recent months frequently complained that the Narendra Modi regime has been taking the money bill route for ordinary bills to bypass the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority. The Rajya Sabha does not have voting rights on money bills.

When the Aadhaar Bill was passed as a money bill in March this year, Ramesh had objected. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had then pointed to the Lok Sabha website and cited precedents during Congress rule. Jaitley cited the African Development Bank Bill (ADB), 1983, and the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Bill, 1986, to prove his point. But Ramesh had dug out Rajya Sabha records to argue that the two bills were not money bills. Parliament's records were more authentic than the website, he said.

The Aadhaar law aims at delivery of government benefits and services to people after verification of their Aadhaar number.
Ramesh today raised the Aadhaar bill to accuse the government of misusing the money bill provision, drawing a sharp reaction from the treasury benches. The Congress leader made certain references against Jaitley which were expunged by Kurien.
"The issue is not whether this is a money bill or that is not a money bill, but the issue is the use of the money bill route to deliberately bypass the Rajya Sabha," he said.

Ramesh then targeted the Chair citing a recent ruling on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, introduced in the upper House as a private member's bill by K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao. The bill seeks special status for Andhra.
Every member has the right to bring a bill on any matter as a private member's bill.

The government has been pleading that this bill was a money bill. The Rajya Sabha referred the bill to the Lok Sabha Speaker, who ruled that it was not a money bill. However, the Lok Sabha secretary-general had given the opinion that since the bill has a provision to establish a separate high court for Andhra, involving expenditure, hence it is a Financial Bill of Category 'A' that can be introduced in the Lok Sabha only.

The bill was sent to the ministry of law and justice, which said it was Financial Bill of Category 'A'. On November 18, the Chair gave the ruling that it was a Financial Bill of Category 'A' and terminated further discussion on it. Ramesh criticised the Chair for that ruling.

Led by urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu, the treasury benches criticised Ramesh for "casting aspersions" on the Chair. "This is something unheard of.... He cannot cast aspersions on the Chair," Naidu said.

Chidambaram supported Ramesh and said any constitutional authority can make mistakes and that the Opposition was urging the Chair to reconsider its ruling.

Kurien expunged all aspersions against the Chair. "All aspersions against the leader of the House and the Chair are expunged... nobody can question the ruling of the Chair. It is final," Kurien said.

Plea to President
Sixteen Opposition parties, including Trinamul and Left, today petitioned the President - as the custodian of the Constitution - to intervene and stop the stifling of the legislative process, alleging that their rights as Lok Sabha MPs were being trampled upon.

The immediate provocation was the manner in which the Taxation Laws (2nd Amendment) Bill was passed on Tuesday, without discussion and prior notice to the MPs.