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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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

11690 - Four states back right to privacy in Supreme Court - Live Mint



Kapil Sibal, counsel for the states, tells Supreme Court that with the advent of technology, the state had become powerful enough to be invasive in a citizen’s life

New Delhi: Four states and one Union territory—Karnataka, Punjab, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry—on Wednesday backed the constitutionality of the right to privacy.
Kapil Sibal, counsel for the states, told the Supreme Court that with the advent of technology, which is pervasive in nature, the state had become powerful enough to be invasive in a citizen’s life.

“The right to privacy cannot be absolute but the court needs to strike a balance between the rights of the state and citizens on one hand and rights of citizens and non-state actors on the other,” Sibal added.

Chief Justice J.S. Khehar said that at this juncture, the court was limiting itself to the constitutionality of the right and did not wish to digress from that question.

A nine-judge constitution bench headed by the chief justice was set up on 18 July to rule on the question of whether the right to privacy constituted a fundamental right.

The limited question had cropped up in the context of legal challenges to the Aadhaar unique identity number that has now become the bedrock of government welfare programmes, the tax administration network and online financial transactions. A total of 22 cases challenging various aspects of Aadhaar were being heard by the court.

In arguments that lasted two consecutive days, several counsels appearing for petitioners, including Shyam Divan, Gopal Subramanium, Arvind Datar, Anand Grover, Meenakshi Arora and Sajan Poovayya, put forth reasons on why the right to privacy should be elevated to form part of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. They concluded their arguments for right to privacy on 21 July.
The main argument revolved around the inter link between the principles of liberty, dignity and privacy—both of which are inherent in the Preamble and the Constitution. In this regard, Chief Justice Khehar said, “Between liberty and privacy, there is a step of dignity. Dignity flows from liberty and privacy from dignity.”

Gopal Subramanium went on to explain how the prevailing fundamental rights guaranteed under articles 14 (equality before law), 19 (right to freedom) and 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution could only be exercised through liberty and freedom of choice.

While considering the nature, scope and contours of the right, the court addressed important questions such as what the right could mean, situations it would be applicable in, whether it could be absolute, and its nexus with technology and data protection.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud even sought to expand the dialogue into the realm of identity and questioned if the right to a person’s identity formed a part of privacy.

The court also discussed in detail the applicability of two precedents through which the discourse on a privacy law has until now developed in the country.

Both cases were collectively sought to be overruled in the light of fresh precedents and developments.

Once the privacy question is settled by the nine-judge Constitution bench, the remaining issues related to Aadhaar will be heard by a smaller bench.


Arguments in the matter will continue through the day.