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.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

11435 - SC Declines to Stay Mandatory Aadhaar For Welfare Schemes - News18


Updated: May 19, 2017, 7:53 PM IST

New Delhi: In a reprieve for the Central government, the Supreme Court on Friday refrained from staying various notifications issued under the Aadhaar Act to make unique identity number mandatory for several social welfare schemes.

A two-judge bench led by Justice A M Khanwilkar said that the court would not want to deal with the issue in piecemeal and would examine all applications against Aadhaar on June 27.

“It is appropriate if we hear all interlocutory applications together…they may involve same or similar issues,” said the bench while deferring the hearing of a plea made in a PIL filed by Shantha Sinha. Sinha is former chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The court also recorded preliminary objections raised by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that a previous order in a batch of cases on Aadhaar was issued by a five-judge Constitution Bench and therefore, only a Constitution Bench could now examine the plea for interim relief.

Rohatgi, on his part, also made it clear that the government was not going to extend the deadline of June 30 by which various schemes such as grant of scholarships, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and various other social welfare schemes were to seek mandatory Aadhaar number.

“Today, we have 120 crore people who have Aadhaar cards but they are not here. The people who are supposed to be benefited by these schemes are not before the court but those who are not going to be affected by all, keep filing petitions after petitions,” rued the AG.

He complained that there was a similar PIL filed last year with same prayers but the apex court did not grant any interim relief. “Can they go on filing petitions after petitions which have even the same text? I can show that paragraphs in this petition are true copies of what was there in the last petition on the subject. This is abuse of the process of the court,” added Rohatgi, citing a petition moved by Lt Col (retd) S G Vombatkere in October 2016.

Senior lawyer Shyam Divan, appearing for Sinha, replied that the previous petition might have similar prayers but the subject matter of the present PIL was entirely different. “These notifications were not issued when the previous petition was filed. We have come with fresh cause of actions. Besides, technicality should the last thing to be argued by the AG when we are claiming violation of fundamental rights. The court had in 2015 asked the government not to make Aadhaar mandatory and they are now in breach. The AG should not shy away from replying on merit,” said Divan.

“I am not shying away…I have fought these cases 20 times,” retorted Rohatgi, adding that Aadhaar was merely an executive scheme when the restraint orders were passed but now the Parliament has passed a law. “There cannot be any injunction against the Parliament from passing a law,” said the AG, adding that only a Constitution Bench should hear the matter.

Divan said that it was not proper to make a PIL petitioner run from one court to another on technical grounds and deny a hearing altogether. But Rohatgi responded that he was called at 2 am by the court which had decided to open its doors to allow a predawn hearing for 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon.

The bench also reacted: “Mr Divan! Please don’t say that this court is not available for common citizens. This court is always available for them.” It then adjourned the matter to June 27, saying the court registry, after suitable instructions from the Chief Justice of India, will place this case before an appropriate bench.

Another bench in the top court had recently reserved its verdict on yet another challenge to linking Aadhaar with PAN cards and for filing Income-Tax returns. Newly inserted provisions in the Finance Act make it mandatory for people to have Aadhaar for validating their PAN cards and for I-T returns. The deadline to link Aadhaar for this purpose is June 30.