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, May 1, 2017

11195 - Absence of timely legal help to poor affects credibility: Chief Justice of India - New Indian Express

By PTI  |   Published: 29th April 2017 05:22 PM  |  
Last Updated: 29th April 2017 05:22 PM  |

NEW DELHI: The credibility of the legal system and the rule of law have come under "severe strain" in the absence of timely help to poor and illiterate Indians, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar said today.   

The CJI made the observations while highlighting the importance of Para Legal Volunteers (PLV) who, according to him, enabled ordinary and helpless people to avail the benefits of the legal system for alleviating their sufferings and injustice.     
"In the absence of timely help to most Indians, the credibility of the legal system and the rule of law comes under severe strain," he said, stressing that the poor and illiterate Indian were the main clients of the justice system. 
    
Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who also spoke at the two-day National Meet of Para Legal Volunteers here, emphasised the use of technology in providing access and administration of justice.

Inaugurating two-day National Meet, the CJI said the service to poor was a "super divine duty" being carried out by the volunteers, which was more than the "divine duty discharged by the judges".
     
The last-mile connectivity for a villager under the PLV scheme was not the lawyers but the PLVs working under the competent legal authorities which impart awareness of laws and legal system to them, he said.     When the disputes are such that they are beyond the capacity of these volunteers who have basic training in law, they approach the nearest legal services authority for a dispute settlement mechanism like Lok Adalat, mediation or more formal legal remedies.     

"These volunteers trained under the 2009 para legal volunteer scheme act as filters relating to the number and nature of disputes that need to be formally and institutionally dealt with by the legal services. Para legal volunteers save time and money of the poor, the official administration and the courts," Justice Khehar said.  
   
Lauding NALSA's poverty allevation scheme, he said it ensured that the benefits of various anti-poverty schemes of the central and the state governments actually reach the intended beneficiaries.  
   
Emphasising the need for restructuring its approach and design, the CJI favoured skill-driven PLVs who can properly research and investigate facts or laws related to a case. 
    
"In fact, this will develop para legal volunteer as multi skilled individual and enhance his or her performance as the critical interface between the common litigant and the courts by a process of upgradation that opens more opportunity for them," he said. 
    
The Minister emphasised the need for increasing use of technology in the judicial process. 
    
"Time is changing fast and with the changing times, we have to change our technology. Technology is a very important tool in the administration of justice.   
  
"In a country of 125 crore people, 108 crore people have mobile phones, among whom 35 crore have smart phones, which will very fast reach 50 crore figure", Prasad said. 
    
He said 113 crore people have Aadhaar cards but refused to speak on it further saying the matter was sub-judice.     

Noting that good governance can be delivered with the help of technology, he said with government's scheme of common service centre (CSC), people in villages and in small towns could avail digital services like making of ration cards, PAN cards, Aadhaar cards or booking of railway tickets. 
    
"We have decided to link the CSC with the access to justice. Now these centres could help Dalit women, Kashmiri women and people from North East to get access to justice," he said, adding that CSCs were being opened in 1,000 panchayats of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and soon 800 such centres will be opened in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East.  
   
Justice Dipak Misra, the executive chairman of NALSA, said this year has been dedicated as the year of excellence to "access to justice through para-legal volunteers".  
   
"Through these legal volunteers, the poor people of the country will be able know about government schemes and seek redressal of their grievances," he said.  
   

Several Supreme Court judges, high court judges and judicial officers from various trial courts across the country were also present at the event.