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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Sunday, May 7, 2017

11258 - SC reserves verdict on linking of Aadhaar with PAN - Weekend Leader

New Delhi
Posted 04 May 2017

The Supreme Court Thursday reserved its verdict on linking of Aadhaar with the PAN card, even as the court was told that it was a "draconian" provision and must go.

The bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the newly-inserted Section 139AA in the Income Tax Act that makes linking of Aadhaar with PAN card mandatory.

As the bench was told that linking Aadhaar with PAN would have "extreme far reaching consequences not only for individuals but small business too", the court enquired if the issue "was never debated or raised in the Parliament or referred to a parliamentary standing committee?"

Senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for senior Communist Party of India leader Binoy Visman, told the bench the government had "an agenda" to push Aadhaar and pointed to the "dichotomy" between Aadhaar Act 2016 that makes possessing Aadhaar optional and Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act that makes its linking with PAN compulsory.

"A right that is voluntary under Aadhaar Act can't be made a penal provision under the Income Tax Act," said Datar.

Besides Visman, former Major General of Indian army S.G. Vombatkere and convenor of Safai Karamchari Andolan Bezwada Wilson have also challenged the validity of Section 139AA.

As Datar said the provision under challenge would affect nearly 2.8 crore individual assesses, the bench observed: "If it can't cover companies that does not mean that we should not do it with individuals. If they (government) want to do something, a beginning has to be made somewhere." 

Hammering the point that Aadhaar was voluntary under the Aadhaar Act and could not be made mandatory under the Income Tax Act, Datar said the government was "slowly, step by step making it compulsory by linking it with various things. Is it not a contempt of court?"

The senior counsel was referring to two earlier orders of the top court which said that government could insist upon Aadhaar only for distribution of foodgrains, and LPG and other cooking fuel. Later this was expanded to include other schemes like MNREGA, old age pension scheme, Provident Fund and Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana.

As Datar tried to impress upon the bench that Aadhaar could not be made compulsory through other statutory routes, Justice Sikri in a lighter observation said: "They say if you don't give Aadhaar, you are not entitled to benefits under social welfare schemes. Why don't they say if you don't give Aadhaar you are not entitled to pay taxes?" 

Pointing to the "dangerous trend", Datar said a provision has been made that says that tax authorities need not give any reason for conducting searches and "all the searches conducted since 1962 are valid".

He told the bench that soon the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is going to ask all the company secretaries, chartered accountants, DIN (Direct Identification Number) holders, Directors, key managerial personnel, professionals and others to integrate their Aadhaar number with MCA21 portal for availing services.

Datar said he did not think that linking Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) would curb black money. In a poser, he asked "Have you done a study before you (government) took the monumental decision of linking Aadhaar with PAN?" - IANS