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.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

11644 - SC acknowledged legitimate state interest in making Aadhaar must for welfare plans - TNN

TNN | Jul 24, 2017, 04.25 AM IST

NEW DELHI: At a time when a constitution bench of the Supreme Court is hearing the privacy plea in the Aadhaar case, a two-judge bench of the apex court in a recent order acknowledged "legitimate state interest" in the government's decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare benefits and PAN cards.

The two-judge bench held that the state was not indulging in overreach or was motivated by suspect motives in linking Aadhaar to various transactions.

The SC in its order upheld Parliament's power to legislate the relevant laws.

"Parliament was fully competent to enact Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act (introduced through the Finance Act, 2017)," the court said. The court addressed the criticism that the law was pushed through even when the SC was to dispose of the challenge to Aadhaar and also that the UID law was designated as a money bill. The crucial aspect on which the constitution bench is expected to pronounce upon is whether the use of Aadhaar poses a "reasonable restraint" on the right to privacy or whether it is the draconian and intrusive instrument of state as its critics allege.

The two-judge bench of A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan did not see a sinister intent behind the law passed by Parliament though it clarified that it was not touching upon the privacy issue.

In its 155-page order, the judges said it was the duty of a welfare state to come out with schemes to take care of needs of the deprived classes and ensure adequate opportunities are provided to them.

Talking of corruption and leakages in welfare schemes, the bench said, "It can't be doubted that with UID-Aadhaar, much of the malaise in this field can be taken care of." The court said Aadhaar could take care of duplicate beneficiaries reaping fruits meant for the genuinely deprived classes.

The apex court further noted that use of Aadhaar would help enforcement agencies tackle terrorism, crime and money laundering along with curbing corruption and black money.

"The Aadhaar or UID, which has come to be known as most advanced and sophisticated infrastructure, may facilitate law enforcement agencies to take care of problem of terrorism to some extent and may also be helpful in checking the crime and also help investigating agencies in cracking the crimes," the SC said.

Noting that in many cases, PAN holders had claimed that a particular transaction did not relate to them, the SC said there was a need to strengthen PAN by linking it with Aadhaar and biometric information.

Observing that multiple cards in fictitious names were obtained with the motive of indulging in money laundering, tax evasion, creation and channelising of black money , the court said, "Parliament in its wisdom thought that one PAN to one person can be ensured by adopting Aadhaar for allotment of PAN to individuals."

An official said the order has given some relief to those who use PAN as an ID for purposes other than filing income tax returns and this is a very small subset which is not a tax assessee and does not have Aadhaar.