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.


Monday, January 16, 2017

10685 - Move against benami property, and tie up assets with Aadhaar Card - - Economic Times

December 6, 2016, 9:58 AM IST Sandip Sen in What happens if? | India | ET

A month after the attempt to rope in unaccounted cash, it is time to swoop down on Benami property. The move could cause a slump in the already shaky high end property market, but now that the Benami act has come in effect this November 2016, all property must be assigned to real people and not fictitious entities. One month after PM Modi’s bold attempt to cleanse India’s cash economy of ill gotten wealth, he needs to put in place a corrective system on the Benami  property purchase by black money accumulators. This needs to be done for all property bought in the last decade especially from 2007 onwards, ever  since the property prices and cost of living spiraled across India.

“The PBPT Act 2016 defines benami transactions, prohibits them and further provides that violation of the PBPT Act is punishable with imprisonment and fine,” the official notification of the newly amended act that CBDT has notified w.e.f. from Novemeber 1 states. “The PBPT Act prohibits recovery of the property held benami from benamidar by the real owner. Properties held benami are liable for confiscation by the Government without payment of compensation.” The act is a much needed amendment to the old 1988 act which recognized the benami property but did not make it illegal. Benami (incognito ) property buying is considered to be responsible for the sky high property prices across the nation.









Property prices in India moved to an all time high during the UPA 2 rule 2008-2013 when corruption and black money reportedly peaked in India. The NHB Residex ( 2007-100) of global property prices ( see graph  )  show the doubling of property prices during the five year period and a marginal decline after the new Government came to power in 2014. The unsold inventory of high end properties in the top 3 cities ( Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru) rose by 4% to nearly 5 lakh homes in 2015. Still prices have not declined because the builders are holding on to unsold assets with the hope that the unspent black money that is  still rampant in the ecosystem will mop up the exorbitantly high properties once the dust and din about income declaration  settles down.
The Governments demonetization move has already created panic amongst the hoarders of black money who are trying out ingenious methods to enter the banking system through Benami ( incognito ) accounts. Some are trying  piggybacking on the Jan Dhan account holders, through traditional moneylenders and goons, that was opened for the rural and urban poor while yet others are trying to push in wads of currency through petrol pumps, hospitals  and medicine chain outlets that were given exemption and permission to collect old currency notes till the 15th of December.
However creating panic is not enough. Since the process has begun the Government must go whole hog and keep up the pressure up. The Benami property act is now in place and it would be only right to start an identification process of what property is Benami and what is legitimate in right earnest. So all property bought in the last decade needs to be connected to  Aadhaar Nos / PAN Nos including those owned by corporates, trusts and NGO’s. Those not assigned a PAN number should be declared Benami after a three month notification period ending 31 st March 2017. Also it is better to concentrate and move quickly on identifying high end property that has been bought in the last decade, than gold that could be ancestral and has a sentimental value, especially during the wedding season.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.