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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Thursday, July 27, 2017

11651 - Aadhaar card privacy issue: SC begins hearing, AG says omission of privacy from Article 21 deliberate - Indian Express


"The issue is simple. Is there a fundamental right to privacy under the Indian Constitution? The view that existed earlier was an opinion that different fundamental rights were individual and distinct. And that Article 21 was a residuary right. The basic freedoms were under article 19," Advocate Gopal Subramanian, who is appearing for the petitioners, said on Tuesday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 26, 2017 1:12 pm

During the Supreme Court hearing on Aadhaar card privacy issue on Wednesday, Attorney General K K Venugopal argued that privacy as a fundamental right was deliberately avoided from Article 21. “Privacy, as a fundamental right, could have been mentioned in 21, but has been omitted. This was deliberate.”
Venugopal, who was arguing for the government, also said “the rights under 21 are not absolute. That is why we have the death penalty for gross crimes and incarceration for crimes.” He also argued that right to life “transcends” right to privacy.

The nine-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar, began their hearing in the case in which petitioners contest that the twelve-digit biometric unique identification card raises privacy threat. The petitioners had completed their argument in the apex court on July 20.
“The issue is simple. Is there a fundamental right to privacy under the Indian Constitution? The view that existed earlier was an opinion that different fundamental rights were individual and distinct. And that Article 21 was a residuary right. The basic freedoms were under article 19,” Advocate Gopal Subramanium, who is appearing for the petitioners, said on Tuesday. He also argued that privacy is embedded in all processes of human life and liberty.
In the meantime, the AG has cited the Constituent Assembly Debates to argue that attempts to include a right to privacy were defeated.

AG is now reading English cases to elucidate the meaning of a common law right to privacy.

Karnataka, West Bengal, Punjab and Puducherry have also moved the top court seeking to intervene in the matter. Senior advocate and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who is representing the four states, said that in the light of technological advancement, the court needs to take a fresh look on the Right to Privacy and its contours in the modern day.
“Privacy cannot be an absolute right. But it is a Fundamental Right. This court needs to strike a balance,” Sibal said. The hearing is currently underway.

Last week, the Centre also told the apex court that personal data was part of a person’s fundamental right to life and cannot be shared freely by internet service providers or social networking sites. The development is contrary to the stand already taken by the government in the Aadhaar issue stating that citizens do not have a fundamental right to privacy.

“My (individual) personal data is intimate to me. It is an integral part of my right to lead a life with dignity. If there is any contractual obligation between the individual and the internet service provider and it impinges on the individual’s right (under Article 21), State will have to intervene and regulate sharing of such data,” Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha told a five-judge Constitution Bench during a hearing on the WhatsApp privacy matter.