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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Saturday, April 22, 2017

11091 - What is the logic behind making Aadhaar mandatory for filing I-T returns, SC asks Centre - The Hindu


NEW DELHI: APRIL 21, 2017 12:18 IST


Possession of an Aadhaar card is necessary for the continuing validity of an existing PAN and for filing returns under the income tax law.

The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the Central government's's logic behind making Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns, asking whether this would indeed be a remedy to end the generation of fake PAN and ration cards.
“Is this the remedy? Forcibly asking people to get Aadhaar cards?” Justice A.K. Sikri, who is heading a Bench, also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

The court was hearing a petition filed by former Kerala Minister Binoy Viswam, represented by senior advocate Arvind Datar and advocate Sriram Prakkat, challenging the constitutionality of Section 139AA inserted in the Income Tax Act by the Finance Act, 2017.

The provision makes Aadhaar mandatory for getting a PAN. Possession of an Aadhaar card is necessary for the continuing validity of an existing PAN and for filing returns under the income tax law.

Mr. Rohatgi argued that fake PANs and ration cards have flooded the market and jinxed financial transactions.
“A person can get multiple PANs in the names of Mukesh Gupta, then another PAN as Mukesh Kumar Gupta and a third one as M.K. Gupta, so on and so forth,” Mr. Rohatgi explained the leaky nature of identity proofs now.

He said making Aadhaar mandatory under Section 139AA was a “legislative mandate”.

The court, at one point, asked whether a Constitution Bench had asked the government to continue with Aadhaar on a “purely voluntary” basis till the court decided the very validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the basis of right to privacy.

To this, Mr. Rohatgi said the court itself had agreed to making Aadhaar mandatory in certain fields to protect identity and national security.

“You [Supreme Court) yourself had recently ordered that Aadhaar should be made mandatory to procure SIM cards,” Mr. Rohatgi contended.

Mr. Rohatgi argued that it was a mandatory requirement under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act to allot PAN. Aadhaar is only being linked to it.

“At first they objected to Aadhaar, saying there was no legislation. Then we brought in legislation and now they are complaining about this,” he submitted.

The government was referring to the The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act of 2016. The enactment of this Act as a Money Bill is itself under challenge in the court on a petition by Congress MP and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh.

“Going by the Attorney General 's logic about fake PANs, I get a PAN card on the basis of showing my Aadhaar as proof. Aadhaar is a basic document along with driving licence, etc. By making Aadhaar mandatory under Section 139AA, my PAN become invalid. This has serious consequences,” Mr. Datar submitted.
He contended that the Aadhaar Act itself does not make obtaining Aadhaar mandatory.

“Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, which makes enrollment for Aadhaar mandatory, without making appropriate amendments to the Aadhar Act which till date does not prescribe that the enrolment is mandatory, in a Finance Bill was with the intention of avoiding the Rajya Sabha where the ruling party does not have a majority. It is submitted that the said amendment is completely contrary to Article 110 of the Constitution, which defines a Money Bill,” Mr. Viswam said in his petition.

The court agreed to hear and finally dispose of the petition on next Wednesday.