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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Friday, April 28, 2017

11171 - ‘Aadhaar-PAN linking a Faustian bargain’ - The Hindu


NEW DELHI APRIL 27, 2017 22:22 IST




Linking Aadhaar with essential activities will turn the nation into a concentration camp, SC told

Lashing out at the move to link Aadhaar to the permanent account number and filing of income tax returns, senior advocate Shyam Divan told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the Constitution was not a charter of servitude.

“We are independent citizens who cannot be forced by the State to part with our fingerprints in exchange for being able to file our income tax returns,” he said.

He termed the newly inserted Section 139AA in the Income Tax Act, which mandates the linking of Aadhaar with PAN, a “Faustian bargain”.

Linking Aadhaar with essential activities of life, such as opening a bank account, filing returns and buying property or a vehicle, would turn the “entire nation into one large concentration camp where citizens are under State surveillance round-the-clock.”

Limited authority
A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan assured him that the court was still alive to its past orders that Aadhaar should be “purely voluntary” and not forced on citizens.

“In our Constitution, we have given ourselves the right to govern through our elected representatives. Government has limited authority over us. You [State] don’t want to give me benefits, that’s all right. But you cannot, for your tax-efficiency purposes, force me to part with my fingerprints without my free, informed and voluntary consent,” Mr. Divan argued.

At this point, Justice Bhushan wondered why people should have a problem parting with their biometric particulars for getting Aadhaar when they have none whatsoever for procuring a passport to go abroad.

“State has a legitimate interest in getting a citizen’s biometric details for a passport,” responded Mr. Divan, who represents petitioners, including the former Army officer S.G. Vombatkere.

“For one, God forbid, if something happens to him when he is abroad, the State needs these particulars to identify him. These are permitted and legitimate purposes for collecting biometric data. Besides, if you go to another country, you have to abide by the laws of that country. But Aadhaar is being insisted in every walk of life.”

Privacy of the body
The law had stopped considering the physical body as a domain of the state since the times slavery was abolished.
“I am a law-abiding person. I am a tax-payer. Every man has a property in his own person. The philosophical foundation of the ‘body’ is that it is my self-authenticated source of valid claims. They are collecting biometric details of even children,” he said.

Respect for privacy
Mr. Divan said the State had respected the privacy of the body of its citizens even in the pre-constitutional times.
He referred to the Identification of Prisoners Act of 1920 in this context.
“The Act allowed authorities to take finger and foot impressions of the inmates. These were used to identify them in case of a prison break, etc. However, these records were to be destroyed immediately at the end of their prison term. Collection of biometric details had always been for narrowly-limited purposes even in times before the Constitution was framed,” Mr. Divan pointed out.