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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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

11297 - SC to hear new plea on Aadhaar today - dna India


 RITIKA JAIN | Tue, 9 May 2017-07:10am , New Delhi , DNA

In the petition, Shanta Sinha and one Kalyani Sen Menon have contended that the Act violates their fundamental right to self-determination among others.

The din against mandatory use of Aadhaar will increase in the coming days with yet another petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the provisions of the Act in its current avtar.
The top court on Tuesday will hear a new petition, drawn by advocates Udayaditya Banerjee and Samiksha Godiyal, challenging the Aadhaar Act and the notifications issued under section 7, days after it reserved its order on a batch of petitions challenging certain provisions of the Act and the compulsory enrolment for Aadhaar under the Finance Act.

In the petition, Shanta Sinha and one Kalyani Sen Menon have contended that the Act violates their fundamental right to self-determination among others. "There are certain things the government simply cannot do because it fundamentally alters the relationship between the citizen and the state. The wholesale collection of biometric data including finger prints and storing it at a central depository per se puts the state in an extremely dominant position in relation to the individual citizen," the petition read.

The petitioners have stated that the Centre, by issuing notification through its various ministries and making enrollment for Aadhaar compulsory, has flouted various interim orders passed by a three-judge bench and concurred upon by a constitution bench which asserts that Aadhaar is voluntary.

"Further the State cannot put itself in a position where it can track an individual and engage in surveillance…the notion of limited government would mean that every individual citizen and citizenry collectively are entitled to live work and enjoy their varied lives without being under the continuous gaze of the State," focusing on the right to self-determination and an individual's right to privacy.

The petitioners have also contended that the Centre has resorted to coercive measures in an attempt to compel the citizens to enroll for Aadhaar, a clear contradiction of the provisions of the Act. Besides, the petitioners have contended that the impugned Act coerces an individual to part with their personal information.

"No democratic country in the world has devised a system similar to Aadhaar which operates like an electronic leash to tether every citizen from cradle to grave. There can be no question of free consent in situations where an individual is coerced to part with its biometric information (a) to be eligible for welfare schemes and or (b) under the threat of penal consequences."

The petitioners have thus prayed for several measures of relief which will be argued upon before the same bench that has already heard a matter pertaining to a similar batch of petitions.
Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, who concluded his fiery argument against the Aadhaar Act, is expected to lead the charge for this petition as well.

Representing a batch of petitioners Senior Advocate Arvind Datar had submitted that unless the court intervened, if the government invalidated the Permanent Account Number (PAN) card if it was not linked to the Aadhar card — one of the provisions of the Finance Act, then an individual would be crippled.

While Datar restricted his arguments on the merits of the law, Divan took the opportunity to highlight how dangerous it would be to allow private entities — who have been contracted by the government to make Aadhar cards, access to your most important and personal details of your life.

"We gave birth to a state. We are sovereign. [Is the state] by an electronic leash, going to walk us around like a dog for the rest of our life?," he submitted. "No where in the world, electronic tagging to this extent is taking place. The last time citizens were numbered it was in [Nazi] concentration camps," Divan had said.

& ANALYSIS
While in earlier petitions only certain sections of the Finance Act were challenged, the new petition challenges the Aadhaar Act itself.
The petitioners contend that the Centre has resorted to coercive measures in an attempt to compel the citizens to enroll for Aadhaar, a clear contradiction of the provisions of the Act.

The Centre, however, had earlier itself submitted that the Aadhaar Act was not voluntary as it has been perceived and that the citizen has no absolute right over his body.