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, July 29, 2017

11668 - Aadhaar hearing: Right to life of poor more important than elite class' privacy concerns, says Centre


The Modi government submitted before the Supreme Court that right to life of millions of poor in the country through food, shelter and welfare measures was far more important than privacy concerns raised by the elite class.

 | Posted by Ganesh Kumar Radha Udayakumar

New Delhi, July 27, 2017 | UPDATED 05:31 IST


HIGHLIGHTS
  • 1 - Aadhaar essential for transparent implementation of government programmes: AG

  • 2 - No going back after enrolling nearly 100 crore citizens: AG

  • 3 - Biometric details for aadhaar are essential for saving prople from animal existence: AG
The Aadhaar hearing in the Supreme Court is fast turning into a right to privacy raised by the "elite" class versus right to life for millions of poor in the country.

Strongly backing the Aadhaar scheme, the Modi government on Wednesday submitted before the Supreme Court that the right to life of millions of poor in the country through food, shelter and welfare measures was far more important than privacy concerns raised by the elite class.

Controversially, Attorney General K K Venugopal arguing for the Centre also stated that privacy claims required better priority in developed countries "not in a country like India where a vast majority of citizens don't have access to basic needs".

He said right to privacy cannot be invoked to scrap the Aadhaar scheme. The government was categorical that after enrolling nearly 100 crore citizens spending an astronomical amount of Rs 6,300 crore there was no going back.

'AADHAAR ESSENTIAL FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE'
The AG attempted to drive home the point that Aadhaar was essential for good governance, transparent implementation of government programmes and to ensure that benefits reach only those who qualify to get them and not ghost beneficiaries.
"Through aadhaar, benefits of welfare schemes reaches only those who are entitled to it. Depriving large sections of people of food, shelter and welfare schemes is also depriving them of fundamental right to live. Biometric details for aadhaar is essential for saving prople from animal existence", Venugopal told a nine-judge bench which is deciding whether right to privacy should be declared a fundamental right.

At one point, Justice D Y Chandrachud, who was part of the bench, interjected the AG saying privacy is not an elitist concern and it is equally applicable to the large masses. "For example, if state wants forced sterilisation on say slum dwellers for population control among that group, perhaps only privacy claim may stand in the way", said Justice Chandrachud.

"Privacy is ingrained in right to life and liberty...each one of them cannot be and need not be elevated as a fundamental right. It has to be on a case to case basis. Privacy is just one specie like right to have passport, right not to be handcuffed they are various specie of public liberty", argued Venugopal.

He also reminded the bench that "world bank has said all countries must follow aadhaar- like model".

'TRANSGRESSION OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS'
The bench is hearing PILs filed by a retired Karnataka High Court judge K. Puttaswamy, and social activist Aruna Roy against making the cards mandatory for accessing government schemes and subsidies.
They argued that the manner in which biometric information is extracted violates and transgresses individual rights of citizens including privacy.
The PILs had said the manner in which biometric details are collected by private contractors and NGOs hired by UIDAI without any safeguard makes them prone to misuse.

They claimed empirical research to show that the biometric identification denoted for UID, namely the iris scan and finger print identification, is faulty and is capable of being abused.