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

11263 - Linking Aadhaar to PAN: It's like an 'electronic leash' on honest citizens, petitioner tells SC - First Post



Apr, 28 2017 08:11:44 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it was "alive" to its earlier orders which had held that Aadhaar should be "voluntary" even as petitioners against the linking of Aadhaar to PAN card termed it an "electronic leash" and dubbed the government a "totalitarian state".

"We are alive to the orders passed by this court which says it should be voluntary," a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said.
The apex court made these observations while hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of section 139AA of the Income Tax (IT) Act, which was introduced through the latest budget and the Finance Act 2017.

Section 139AA of IT Act provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns and making application for allotment of PAN number with effect from July 1 this year.
Senior counsel Shyam Divan, representing the petitioners, argued that section 139AA was unconstitutional and it was in "direct collision" with the Aadhaar Act.
"The entire Aadhaar Act is voluntary. It creates a right in favour of citizens. It does not create a duty. The Act is entirely voluntary. How can they make it mandatory under the Income Tax Act? The scheme under the Aadhaar Act is in direct collision with the provision of section 139AA," he said.
He also argued that there was no question of forcing a person to give his consent for Aadhaar and this was an issue which "alters the relationship of Republic of India with its citizens".
However, the bench observed, "we have to interpret a statute as per the objective with which it has been framed."
Referring to the earlier orders passed by the apex court, Divan said a five-judge bench had in October 2015 said that Aadhaar card scheme was voluntary and not mandatory till the matter was finally decided by the apex court.
He said in that order, the court had also said that a larger bench was required to be set up for final disposal of the petitions but it has not been constituted till now.
The senior counsel also argued that a bench headed by then Chief Justice of India (CJI) H L Dattu had passed that order and after him, the apex court has seen two CJIs -- former CJI T S Thakur and incumbent CJI J S Khehar -- but a larger bench has not been set up to adjudicate the matter.
Questioning the governments move, Divan said it was like a "bargain" that government was asking for finger prints and other details of an individual, which were required for making Aadhaar, for extending benefits of welfare schemes.
However, the bench said, "As far as privacy issue was concerned, it has been referred to a larger bench so we cannot decide it here. ... Your privacy issue that you do not want to give your finger prints will be heard by a larger bench."
The petitioner also argued that a law abiding tax payer cannot be forced to give his Aadhaar while filing income tax return and this was like an "electronic leash" as government would keep a tab on its citizens.
"Nowhere in the world there is such biometric system which can track a person 24X7. They (government) are doing it even before the age of consent," he said during the arguments which would continue tomorrow.
"We (citizens) are not servants of the state. We are independent citizens. They cannot invade my body and if they will invade it, then it would be a totalitarian state," he said.
The apex court had yesterday put a poser as to why there was no objection from lawmakers on the governments decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for making PAN cards.
Defending the Centres stand to make Aadhaar mandatory for filing of Income tax returns and to apply for PAN, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had referred to around 10 lakh fake permanent account number (PAN) cards in the country and said that Aadhaar was the only system which could prevent duplication or fake cards.
Rohatgi had also clarified that nowhere in section 139AA of IT Act, was it mentioned that it would be effective with retrospective effect.
The government had earlier told the apex court that fake PAN cards were being used to "divert funds" to shell firms.

Published Date: Apr 28, 2017 08:11 am | Updated Date: Apr 28, 2017 08:11 am