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


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


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.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

12115 - All ration shops to be digitised, says Ram Vilas Paswan - Asian Age

Published : Sep 22, 2017, 6:21 am IST

The programme was initially conceptualised by the Jharkhand government which forwarded it to the Centre.

 Ram Vilas Paswan

New Delhi: Soon beneficiaries of government schemes, who get money under the Direct Benefit Transfer, will need to buy their ration only from fair price shops being run under the Public Distribution System (PDS) to ensure that the funds are spent for what they are meant for.

This will also ensure that the fair price shop owners can’t siphon off the stuff meant to be given to the beneficiaries, food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan told this newspaper.

Under this scheme, all beneficiaries with Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts can go to their respective fair price shops and using biometric identification through Point of Sale machines get their rations at designated prices and amounts.

The programme was initially conceptualised by the Jharkhand government which forwarded it to the Centre and soon a pilot project was launched in the state. Based on the success of the pilot project, the model will be replicated across the country. According to government data, there are 5,05,879 fair price shops across the country. Mr Paswan said that the scheme will also ensure that the government-run fair price shops are not closed due to lack of customers. “All the ration shops would be 100 percent digitised,” he said. The public distribution system is essentially a food security system run by the ministry of consumer affairs, food, and public distribution and are managed jointly by state governments. It distributes subsidized food and non-food items to the poor.

The scheme was first launched on June 1947. Major commodities distributed include staple food grains, such as wheat, rice, sugar, and kerosene, through a network of fair price shops (also known as ration shops) established in several states across the country. Food Corporation of India, a Government-owned corporation, procures and maintains the PDS. In coverage and public expenditure, it is considered to be the most important food security network.

12114 - FinMin denies reports about CEA Arvind Subramanian’s resignation - Money Control

Sep 21, 2017 01:03 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
There is speculation that Subramanian may be given an extension, making his tenure co-terminus with the NDA government’s current term till 2019

Moneycontrol News
The finance ministry on Thursday dismissed reports that Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian has resigned.
There is speculation that Subramanian may be given an extension, making his tenure co-terminus with the current term of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government till 2019.
Subramanian was appointed on October 16, 2014 for three years as the CEA, a post that had been lying vacant since September 2013 after Raghuram Rajan took over as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor.

Over the last three years, Subramanian has assumed the role of the main go-to person for advice for finance minister Arun Jaitley on macro-economic matters and has been the principal author of the annual Economic Surveys.
He also authored the highly acclaimed “Report on the Revenue Neutral Rate and Structure of Rates for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)” in December 2015, which laid down the broad contours for implementing GST in India from July 1, 2017.
Subramanian has used the Economic Survey to recommended policy changes, sometimes even sweeping measures. This year, for instance, the survey recommended the rollout of Universal Basic Income (UBI), a poverty alleviation plan involving direct money transfer to people’s bank accounts.
In 2015, he introduced the phrase ‘JAM’—Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile—to the Indian policy lexicon. The ‘JAM agenda’ refers to the potential of largescale, technology-enabled, real-time cash transfers to improve the economic lives of the poor, and raise efficiency by reducing leakages and market distortions. Over the past two years much progress has been made in spreading JAM across India’s economy, also because of the push towards digital payments following demonetisation.
In 2016, the Economic Survey constructed an index to measure states’ preparedness to implement two varieties of JAM programmes: direct benefit transfer (DBT) and BAPU—Biometrically Authenticated Physical Uptake. BAPU differs from DBT in that there is no transfer of money. Beneficiaries simply authenticate their identities and physically collect benefits or subsidised goods as they do presently.
He also brought in a changed structure in the Economic Survey, presenting it in two parts. The Survey’s first part was tabled in the last of week of January following the budget’s advancement by a month, prompting a modification to a new construct of two volumes presented nearly six months apart.
The second volume was presented in August. This is a departure from the past where the survey, often described the government’s official economic report card, came as a single volume divided into two parts—commentary and outlook in the first, and statistics in the second.

Subramanian, whom the Foreign Policy magazine had named him as one of the world's top 100 global thinkers in 2011,  has also been ranked amongst the top 1 per cent of the world's academic economists in terms of citation of research, according to the widely used REPEC rankings. He has studied at St. Stephens College, Delhi; the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, India; and University of Oxford.

12113 - For whom does the India Stack bell toll? - The Ken.Com

Inside the project to turn 1.2 billion Indians into a platform. And its consequences

How did a private organisation like iSpirt end up with the master key to Aadhaar?

Buoyed by the government’s support, India Stack is a mandatory gateway for all businesses

Those outside of iSpirt’s favourites list are wary of their volunteer model

It was only in January 2017 that iSpirt publicly admitted to being funded by banks

“Can you name one entrepreneur in India who has built a successful platform?” asks Sharad Sharma, the passionate but combative co-founder of iSpirt. He’s attempting to address why iSpirt is putting an enormous effort into creating its own platform today.
That platform is India Stack.
The pithily-named India Stack refers to a collection of APIs—software algorithms and frameworks—that are built on top of a common foundation: Aadhaar. With over 1.17 billion Indians enrolled, Aadhaar is the world’s largest unique identity project today. As things stand today, India Stack is the only mainstream channel…

Read the full story now. Subscribe to The Ken


12112 - Rot runs deep: Aadhaar, birth documents easily forged - TNN

TNN | Sep 22, 2017, 06:50 IST

HYDERABAD: A day after an international human trafficking racket was busted and 20 people, including eight sheikhs, were arrested, Hyderabad police said they have unearthed a well-networked gang fabricating fake Aadhaar and birth certificates. The gang members create fake documents to pass off minors as those of marriageable age. 

To prevent sheikhs marrying minor girls from the city, police have sent several suggestions to the minority welfare department and requested them to make guidelines stricter for foreign nationals marrying locals. 

"Online facility to correct details in Aadhaar was launched to help citizens correct mistakes, but the facility is being misused by brokers to get fake ID proofs," assistant commissioner of police (ACP), Falaknuma, Md Tajuddin Ahmed told TOI. 

"Once they get the updated Aadhaar, they manage all other documents like birth certificate, resident certificate etc," he added. 

"Officials should be more careful while issuing Aadhaar and birth certificates. Due to lack of strict verification procedures, brokers manage to get fake identity proofs easily," another official said.

On Thursday, all the 20 arrested were produced in court and shifted to Chanchalguda prison.

Police have also sent a set of recommendations to the minority welfare department to make norms stricter. They suggested that foreign nationals should submit No Objection Certificate from the country of his origin and apply to police a month before the scheduled marriage along with details of the bride.

The minority welfare department has already drafted an ordinance on a few recommendations and suggestions given by police.

"We have recommended that if a foreign national wants to marry a Hyderabadi girl , he should get an NOC. Also in his visa, he should specify that he wants to visit Hyderabad for `marriage purpose'.Apart from that, the age difference should not be over 10 years," Syed Omer Jaleel, special secretary , minorities welfare department, said.

12111 - UIDAI slaps notice on Airtel, its payments bank for flouting Aadhaar rules - Deccan Herald

Sep 21, 2017, 6:10 pm IST

It alleged that Airtel retailers have been opening payments bank accounts using Aadhaar information of customers.

UIDAI has slapped notices on Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank over its retailers allegedly opening payments bank accounts without taking "informed consent" of customers who go for Aadhaar-based mobile SIM verification. (Photo: Representational/AFP)

New Delhi: The UIDAI has slapped notices on Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank over its retailers allegedly opening payments bank accounts without taking "informed consent" of customers who go for Aadhaar-based mobile SIM verification.

The Aadhaar-issuing body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in the notices seen by PTI, stated that acts of not taking consent and informing the purpose of authentication was a violation of rules and punishable with financial penalties.

It also asked both Bharti Airtel and its payments bank entity to take immediate corrective measures and report back to the authority on the same.

Reached for comments, an Airtel spokesperson said the payments bank is fully compliant with RBI and UIDAI guidelines and follows a stringent customer onboarding process. "Airtel Payments Bank accounts are opened only after explicit consent from the customer. We will continue to educate retailers and strengthen our process to ensure transparency to customers and compliance with regulation," the company said in an e-mail response.

The UIDAI in the notices stated that it has come to know that "Airtel retailers are allegedly opening Airtel payments Bank account at the time of performing Aadhaar e-KYC verification without informing the purpose of e-KYC and also without taking informed consent of the customer".

Also, certain complaints were made to UIDAI alleging that Airtel opened payments bank account without approval and the said account was then linked for receiving LPG subsidy.

The UIDAI is learnt to have said such acts violated specific sections of Aadhaar Act which require entities to mandatorily obtain consent of an individual before collecting authentication related information, and also inform them about the purpose of the authentication.

When contacted, UIDAI spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.

In November 2016, Airtel Payments Bank had rolled out banking services in Rajasthan, becoming the first payments bank to go live in the country.

Payments banks can accept deposits and savings bank deposits from individuals and small businesses, up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh per account.

12110 - Missing Links: From banks to babies, everything and everyone needs an Aadhaar card - TNN Blog

September 22, 2017, 2:06 AM IST Jug Suraiya in Juggle-Bandhi | Edit Page, Humour, India | TOI

Years ago, Science with a capital S sent people out in search of the Missing Link, the evolutionary intermediary between apes and humans which had yet to be discovered.

Today, in India, the Sarkar with a capital S is sending people out in search of a whole lot of Missing Links, the revolutionary intermediaries between aam admi and the Sarkar.

What are these Missing Links, these revolutionary intermediaries between the aam admi and the Sarkar? They are the links – or, rather, Links with a capital L – between the aam admi’s Aadhaar card and the aam admi’s bank account/ accounts, mobile phone, birth certificate, and just about anything else you care to name which the aam admi might possess, or wish to possess in the future.

For aam admi – which is you and I – filling in a KYC (know your customer) form for your bank is not enough. Apart from your KYC identification, your bank also needs your biometric details from your Aadhaar card, which has to be linked to your bank account. Failure to link your Aadhaar card to your bank account could result in your bank account being frozen, with no prospect of it ever melting, global warming notwithstanding.

Your mobile phone has also to be linked to your Aadhaar card, on pain of permanent disconnection if the link is not established.

If you have just got yourself born, your birth has also to be linked with a brand new Aadhaar card, which presumably will feature your fingerprints. Do new-born infants come fully loaded with fingerprints to put on their Aadhaar cards? They’d better, or risk being sent back till they get them, as per Aadhaar requirements.

So far, you don’t have to link your Aadhaar card to every order you make for a home delivery pizza, or every time you buy an online movie ticket. But reliable reports have it that the forthcoming Ministry of Missing Links will address these and similar issues on a priority basis.

Some say that finding all these Missing Links will make us the most spied upon society in the world and entail a loss of privacy.

But most of us are too busy chasing all those Missing Links to worry about such things. The Sarkar has got us going idhar-udhar, here and there, in search of Missing Links. Or, more appropriately, Aadhaar-udhar.

DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.

12109 - The Daily Fix: Centre must order telecom companies to stop pushing for Aadhaar verification - Scroll.In

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

Published Sep 21, 2017 · 09:19 am

The Big Story: Phone home
On August 24, a nine-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous verdict declaring that every citizen had a fundamental right to privacy. The question of whether Indians had such a right emanated from a batch of petitions questioning the validity of Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometrically linked identification number that the government wants every citizen to have. After the privacy judgment, this question will now be tested before a five-judge bench in the coming months.
However, the fact that the very validity of Aadhaar is still under judicial scrutiny seems to have had little effect on telecom companies, many of which are pressing ahead to link their mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar. Many customers have noted that they are being sent frequent messages – sometimes up to three a day – asking them to complete this linkage as soon as possible as the Centre has fixed a deadline of February 6, 2018, to get this done. “Hi, as per government order your mobile number should be linked with Aadhaar,” reads a message from one of the telecom companies. “Kindly refer to 11th September newspapers.”

The companies are citing a March 6 Department of Telecom circular to push this process. The circular in turn refers to an order delivered by the Supreme Court on February 6 in a public interest litigation that sought a thorough customer verification process to ensure that mobile numbers are not misused for illegal activities, including terrorism.

However, the notification citing the Supreme Court directions seems to be a case of obfuscation on part of the Centre. As it turns out, the court order did not make such linking mandatory. A reading of the order will make it clear that the Supreme Court merely recorded the Aadhaar linkage proposed by the Union government and hoped it would fulfil its assurance of completing the linkage within a year of its undertaking before the bench.

But the Centre in subsequent orders has converted a mere observation of the Supreme Court in taking on record the submissions of the government into a judicial direction. In fact, nowhere during the proceedings did the court propose Aadhaar linking as the ideal way to combat fake mobile customers.

As this Livelaw article points out, it was curious that during the proceedings, neither the petitioner nor the attorney general informed the two-judge bench that a five-judge bench had already reiterated the court’s position that Aadhaar could not be made mandatory for any service till its validity is adjudicated upon. Six months later in August, the court delivered the verdict assuring citizens the right to privacy. This has completely changed the jurisprudence that existed in February. Pushing Aadhaar at this point could only be considered an act of not only undermining Supreme Court orders but also a fundamental right.

It would be difficult to blame the telecom companies for sending out such text messages asking customers to link Aadhaar with phone numbers. The companies act on directives issued by the telecom department and cannot be expected to engage in interpreting court directives. The onus is on the Centre toask the companies to not go ahead with the process till the Supreme Court finally decides on the validity of the unique identification number.

The Big Scroll
  • Sruthisagar Yamunan on what the privacy verdict means for Aadhaar. 
Subscribe to “The Daily Fix” by either downloading Scroll’s Android app or opting for it to be delivered to your mailbox. For the rest of the day’s headlines Doclick here.
If you have any concerns about our coverage of particular issues, please write to the Readers’ Editor at readerseditor@scroll.in

12108 - Is it really mandatory to link Aadhaar with bank account and mobile - TNN

Ramarko Sengupta | TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Sep 22, 2017, 19:21 IST

  • The legality of Aadhaar is under cloud, says Supreme Court lawyer Apar Gupta
  • Even the Aadhaar-PAN issue will again be argued in November
  • By November legal clarity on whether Aadhaar is unconstitutional or not is expected to emerge

We have all been getting repeated reminders from mobile service providers and banks via text messages and other means that it is mandatory to link our phone numbers and bank accounts with the 12-digit unique identification number Aadhaar. Failing which, our bank accounts and mobile numbers will cease to exist, if the seeding is not done within the stipulated deadline-- December 31, 2017 for bank accounts and February 28, 2018 for mobile numbers.

While the government has indeed directed telecom companies and banks to get this done, is this really mandatory or even legal? 

We spoke to Supreme Court lawyer Apar Gupta to understand the legalities around this. 

For starters, before the deadline, banks and mobile service providers cannot disable your account or number, says Gupta. As far as the legality of the directive is concerned, he says "It's under a cloud and there are right now doubts that exist about the legality of the Aadhaar system." 

The 'cloud' that Gupta mentions is formed from the landmark Supreme Court ruling in August which states that Indians enjoy a fundamental right to privacy, that it is intrinsic to life and liberty and thus comes under Article 21 of the Indian constitution. 

"The right to privacy judgement got all of us very excited and there were questions which came up right after the judgement that what is its impact on Aadhaar. For this lawyers then went to the Supreme Court and said that you now have the right to privacy firmly established under the Constitution and now you need to apply it to the pending court cases which challenge the Aadhaar scheme. 

Now, a lot of these court cases also challenge Aadhaar specifically being linked to a lot of government services which are now requiring it as a precondition for the service itself," says Gupta who had argued for petitioners in the Right to Privacy case and also represents those challenging Aadhaar. 

These cases are due to be heard in November which is prior to the seeding deadlines, adds the lawyer who is a vocal critic of the Aadhaar scheme over concerns around security and privacy. 

So, by November some legal clarity on whether Aadhaar is unconstitutional or if it's legal and justified is expected to emerge. This in turn will obviously have a bearing on whether all of us indeed need to get our Aadhaar seeded with our bank accounts and mobile numbers. 

"People who believe that Aadhaar opens them up to a large array of concerns including privacy, profiling and even identity theft they should hold on. But again this is a very personal call each person has to take after they asses where they stand on this issue and how they personally assess the level of impact it's going to cause them," says Gupta. 

It would be interesting to look back at the Supreme Court's judgement in the Aadhaar- PAN linking case here (which was delivered a couple of months before the right to privacy verdict), where the top court stated that while the government was right in asking for Aadhaar to be linked with the 10-digit alpha-numeric PAN, it was too harsh a punishment to deactivate someone's PAN altogether. It results in the "civil death" of a person as they are not able to function effectively in society, the court had stated. Having your bank account and mobile number disabled would also similarly result in "civil death" opines Gupta.

The Aadhaar-PAN issue will again be argued in November as it came before the right to privacy judgement, Gupta says. 

Modi and co didn't launch aadhar project so they will not know how to fix it's shortcomings or legally defend it...team modii only knows how to take credit for everything good done by others (aadhar, isro) while blaming others for everything bad...modi basically is just an insecure attention seeking actor...
Ivan Bigger

The government on its part wants to link almost all essential services to Aadhaar to plug leakages and gaps that exist within the system as India moves towards digitisation. The Centre seems to believe that Aadhaar could be that proverbial 'silver bullet' that takes down terrorism, money laundering, black marketeering and other frauds, all at once.

Every resident who has an Aadhaar has their biometrics (fingerprints, iris scan) linked to the 12-digit unique identity. According to the government, over 99 per cent of adults in India are enrolled in the program, with nearly 90 per cent of the entire population coming under its fold.

12107 - OPINION ‘If dissent is not allowed, it’ll take different forms’- The Hindu

SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 00:00 IST

                              R.V. MOORTHY  
The former Attorney General about recent landmark judgments of the Supreme Court, the credibility of the court, and the sedition law

Former Attorney General of India, Soli Sorabjee, was given the Padma Vibhushan 15 years back for his defence of the freedom of expression and protection of human rights. Now, at 87, Mr. Sorabjee says he is looking forward to making his arguments in a pending case on Aadhaar. Excerpts from a wide-ranging interview:

What are the implications of the Supreme Court’s privacy judgment on Section 377 of the IPC (that criminalises homosexuality)?
I think Section 377 is very questionable now in light of the privacy judgment. The Supreme Court overturned a very good judgment by the Delhi High Court, which had struck down Section 377.
In view of the unanimous privacy judgment of the court, it is clear that what you drink and eat and whom you consort with cannot be the concern of the state. Of course, privacy is also not absolute. No fundamental right is absolute. If a man with questionable reputation visits haunts which have a dubious reputation, and has terrorist links, you can take action against him. But that should be done with proper application of the mind. You can’t rush in to slap the law.

Do you anticipate more litigation in light of the privacy judgment?
There will be (litigation) on Aadhaar and many other issues. The essence of the right to privacy is the right to be left alone. This is one of the most cherished rights of democracy. It is difficult to draw a line, though. Sometimes there are borderline cases but even in such cases, it should be in favour of the person. But the prosecution doesn’t want to take chances and would rather send the person to jail.

What are your arguments in the Aadhaar case?
In principle, I also feel that there isn’t an argument against Aadhaar, especially when it is linked to social benefit schemes. It is possible that it can be misused, but the possibility of misuse cannot be the ground for arguing that the law is not required. It is a grey area, and we must place our trust in the judiciary and the media. The Aadhaar matter is pending, and I may be involved in some cases, so I don’t want to go into that.

You had expressed satisfaction at the fact that the privacy judgment was unanimous. But this was not the case with the triple talaq judgment.
On triple talaq, the former Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justice Khehar Singh, said Parliament must pass a law. But I am afraid, on matters such as this, there should have been a unanimous judgment. It carries more weight. If you dissent, people read different meanings. That’s why I am glad that the privacy judgment was unanimous. 

On triple talaq, the main thing is, you cannot arbitrarily divorce a woman. Yes, you can profess and propagate any religion under Article 25, but this is subject to other provisions in the Constitution. Article 14 (equality) cannot be achieved by having gender discrimination. But what I saw was a community upsurge against the women fighting against triple talaq. Why can’t the woman be given the right to give triple talaq to her husband? It won’t happen. The women who fought were seen as anti-Islam, were maligned in the community. You cannot argue that it is a personal law.

There have been some allegations against Supreme Court judges. Would you say that people today still have faith in the judiciary?
People still ask for a judicial inquiry despite all the challenges and faults of the judiciary. The confidence has not gone — and rightly so.

What do you think of the Supreme Court’s national anthem judgment and the Madras High Court’s Vande Matram judgment?
These (judgments) were meant well, but they were not proper judicial dicta. To my mind, the courts should not have got into this. They could have said this is desirable, but not to the extent of making it mandatory. The Jehovah’s Witnesses case still holds good, where the Supreme Court had observed that there was no provision in law which obliges anyone to sing the national anthem. So, the present order was not necessary at all.

Would you agree that the discussions on intolerance — for instance, what people should be allowed to eat — have come to the fore in the last two-three years?
Well, it has gained prominence. But I don’t think this will succeed. One cannot say, ‘you must be a vegetarian.’ People have lost their lives; how terrible is that! That’s why the courts afford protection. But sometimes, the courts fail. Judges are not infallible.

You had recently said that a critical test to check the claim of any country being democratic is its tolerance of dissent and the protection afforded to dissenters. How has India fared in the test?
India can fare better; this atmosphere of fear must be removed. But it is also a fact that all dissenters are not put behind bars. You see people criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister’s Office, the government. There is apprehension that if they dare say anything against the government or against the established order, they may be incarcerated or put behind bars. That impression must go. The government must make solid efforts to encourage dissent, provided it is not abusive, of course. This is important because if dissent is not allowed, then it takes different forms, not very healthy forms, and finds outlet in other activities.

Why have things come to such a pass?
It is not really as sorry as it is made out. It’s a bit exaggerated. But the fact that there is such an apprehension... that itself is not a good sign. Sometimes an issue is politicised, and an impression is created that people will be put behind bars. We have witnessed criticism of the government in trenchant, virulent terms. They are not put behind bars or murdered. The Opposition also exaggerates it. The real test is for the people to openly say: ‘We dissent and we challenge you to do something to us.’

When people criticise, it is often called seditious. Do you think the sedition law should remain in the statute books?
Yes. Challenge the actions, the facts on which the action was taken. But not the statutory provision. The criminal misappropriation provision in law, for instance, where false charges are made. Take Section 420, it has been abused. The judiciary, I must say, comes to the aid of people who are falsely charged or whose voice of dissent is sought to be suppressed. Different judges have different ways of looking at things. By and large, the judiciary has been commendably forthright in supporting voices of dissent.

Perils are there in the abuse of law by law enforcers, and very often, this section (sedition) is put to action because of overcautiousness or out of ignorance. It should not be. On the whole, the authorities have understood the meaning of sedition. It should be clearly laid down that criticism of the government is not sedition, unless there is a call to violence. Suppose there is a cricket match and Pakistan wins and you clap for Pakistan... that’s not sedition. I may hold a different view and not like the person who claps. They say, ‘PakistanZindabad!’... that’s not sedition. ‘BharatMurdabad!’ in itself is not sedition. But if someone says, ‘ Bharat ke tukde kar do ’, the section can be invoked for incitement to violence. But they should be seen in the right context. Authorities should not be overenthusiastic in applying the provisions of the act.

I am against the view that sedition should be done away with altogether. It is required in some cases. If there is a call to do away with the state by resorting to violent means, this needs to be checked by a proper application of the sedition law. A misuse does not mean do away with sedition. Do away with the action, but retain the provision.

How do you view students being slapped with sedition charges? JNU? Why can’t they dissent? 
It was nonsense that they were slapped with sedition. Sedition needs to be understood properly. Sedition is not criticism of the government. In sedition, the essential element is by words or action; there is an incitement to violence. That’s the sine qua non of the offence of sedition. The police who slap such charges are ignorant of the law. Any criticism, they slap sedition. The authorities should have seen the action of the students rationally. Usually, there is not (a clear) understanding of the law. In one case, Arun Jaitley was slapped with sedition, if you please.

What do you have to say to reasonable restrictions of free speech in the context of dissent? Does it require a relook?
Reasonable restrictions should go with the facts of each case. Reasonable means the restrictions shouldn’t be excessive or disproportionate. It should have a rationale in relation to the objectives stated. If the objective is to prevent people from giving a call to violently overthrow the government, reasonable restrictions should be invoked, but that does not mean excessive usage. It does not imply doing away with the section on reasonable restrictions to free speech.

You were Attorney General during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s term as Prime Minister. What is the change you see from the Vajpayee era to the Modi era?
Mr. Vajpayee, of course, was far more tolerant. No question about it. Or, let me say, he appeared to be tolerant. Mr. Modi I wouldn’t say is intolerant, but is made to appear intolerant.

By whom?
By some people in the party he belongs to and by the Opposition. His party members make stupid statements like, ‘if you don’t like this, go to Pakistan.’ Those few do a great damage to the government and the Prime Minister.

But the Prime Minister has remained silent.
Yes, of course. And silence sometimes can imply consent. But a Prime Minister cannot react to everything. He has condemned gau rakshaks. He has said you cannot kill in the name of religion. India is such a vast country. The real issue is to sensitise people on the value of free speech and the importance of dissent. That can be done even in school and educational institutions.

What should India’s position be on the Rohingya issue?
Instinctively and on principle, I am against deporting them. Do they pose a threat to security? Do they affect public tranquillity? Unless we have a cogent evidence against them, we should not deport them.

It is possible that Aadhaar can be misused, but the possibility of misuse cannot be the ground for arguing that the law is not required.

On the whole, the authorities have understood the meaning of sedition. It should be clearly laid down that criticism of the government is not sedition, unless there is a call to violence.

Do the Rohingya pose a threat to security? Do they affect public tranquillity? Unless we have a cogent evidence against them, we should not deport them.

12106 - Highly objectionable - Hindu Businessline


Linking Aadhaar with bank accounts not in sync with the law

September 19, 2017:  
Bank customers in India are worried. Most of them have been receiving regular messages from the entities they have trusted their money with, asking them to link their accounts with the Aadhaar number, as per a recent notification from the Centre. If customers fail to comply before December 31, banks will deactivate the accounts.

But can they do this? Is it constitutional? Experts suggest there may be a problem. The Centre introduced this new requirement on the back of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) (Second Amendment) Rules 2017. The notification cashes in on the powers it enjoys on behalf of Parliament under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. That much is fine. But the legality of threatening customers with penalty and deactivation does not hold up because the Aadhaar Act 2016, does not allow for the same. The Act clearly says where the biometrics-enabled unique identification number should be used. And bank services do not feature in the category.

Section 7 of the Act says that the Centre or States may use the number for the “purpose of establishing identity of an individual as a condition for receipt of a subsidy, benefit or service for which the expenditure is incurred from Consolidated Fund of India (read Government money)”

Hence, even linking Aadhaar with PAN was not legally tenable. 

Which is why the Government went in for a parliamentary amendment to the Income Tax Act rather than resorting to its own power to form rules. But the money laundering Act, say experts, does not necessarily offer it room to override clauses in Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. 

There is also concern that third parties such as private banks having unchecked access to Aadhaar may lead to data misuse.

Deputy Editor

12105 - Analysing privacy in a data-centric world - Economic Times

Updated: Sep 20, 2017, 12.08 AM IST

By Mrutyunjay Mahapatra

       Civilisation is the process of setting man free from men. 

Famous author Edward Snowden told, “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.” His words were prophetic. 

Privacy as a concept is in a perpetual evolutionary phase. When men were hunter gatherers, there was no privacy. As rightly stated, “Civilisation is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilisation is the process of setting man free from men.” Nation states, with collective will and persona, defined and shaped privacy in human life through instrumentalities like polity, judiciary, media and debates on gender equality. 

With time, the demand for space of one’s own got accentuated. We never thought of privacy when governments collected massive data in census, in IT returns or employers in job applications, but we are worried about it now when Aadhaar is linked to benefit transfer or calls are made for offers. Every millisecond, huge amount of data is recorded and generated at multiple points. From monitoring traffic to tracking epidemic spread to trading stocks, time is of the essence. A few seconds’ delay in understanding information could cost money and life. Big data needs to be fast and smart. This speed and efficiency have become a double-edged sword for privacy. Smart data vision, IOT and data-led world are ringing alarm bells for privacy. 

Should we prevent data collection, aggregation and analytics, touted as highly beneficial to the customers in deference to privacy? 

Data Privacy and security because of interconnectedness are taken synonymously. Security is focused on ‘Blocking the Bad’ and ‘Allowing the Good’. For privacy in this digital world, this doesn’t work when everything could be compromised with camouflaged consent and we can’t keep pace with data to identify good from bad. 

Data impacting individuals could be one or more of the three ownership characters, 
i) What you know & what you have, 
ii) What you don’t know & what you have 
and iii) What you don’t know & what you don’t have. 

Data privacy has three degrees— intensely private, semi-private and public. Where you live and where you work could be public data. What is your friends’ circle? The shopping trips you made and the jobs you applied for could be the semi-private data. relationships, criminal records, medico-legal history, etc., are examples of intensely private data. 

Data protection is about securing data against unauthorised access, while data privacy defines boundaries of access. Security protects the information’s confidentiality, integrity and availability; privacy assures quality control of usage defined by owner or the law with the touchstone of fairness. 

Data Privacy is a term hyped, misunderstood and philosophised because lack of distinction between raw data, analytical insights and results. It is interchangeably used for data compromise, data protection and data surveillance. ‘Interest and benefit’ of the data owner is the third dimension adding to the confusion. Some key questions are there — how to retrieve data if its privacy was compromised? In a connected environment, where boundaries of data are porous and fungible, how does data privacy play out? How to be data smart and put origin point preventions? The recent Supreme Court judgement holding privacy as a fundamental right equivalent to right to live, practice religion, freedom of speech, etc., has come at a time when all the countries around the world are engaged in understanding and stabilising the power, potential and disruption unleashed by information technology and digital world. 

A near-term strategy for privacy is self-protection as well as basic ecosystem regulations. Origin point prevention is a necessity. This requires customer awareness as well as enforcement of disclosures. For example, privacy compromise mostly happens through ‘lazy’ consents at the time of download of free apps, inability of general public to read fine prints in websites and utilities like Google and Whatsapp, overwhelming short-term benefits of exchange of privacy, etc. 

Privacy enforcement will require some reduction in user experience and benefits. We have to bear the downside of it, if privacy is our concern as new colonizers of data will continue to gather data walking around the regulations. Ecosystem of privacy enforcers include collection and storage disciplines. Today, people are increasingly making their personal information available publically, thanks to e-commerce, platforms like Ola, Uber and Amazon and initiatives like Digital India, Aadhaar and Demonetisation. Storage leads to privacy compromise. Time limits should be established for erasure. An authority and audit process must be prescribed to enforce this. 

Technologies like smoke screens, data encryption and masking of personal identifiers are first steps to privacy. Thus for data privacy, the first call must be taken by the data owner, the individual, firm or the corporate. Short-term benefits like user experience, offers in e-commerce, socialisation, etc., are all compromisers of privacy, temporarily or permanently. We must decide with full knowledge. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” 

Read more at:

12104 - 1 paisa loan waiver: UP farmer to get due amount after Aadhaar linking, says DM - Times Now

Updated: Sep 20, 2017 | 13:32 IST | Times Now Digital

The Mathura farmer had received 1 paisa as loan waiver   | Photo Credit: ANI

Mathura: A Mathura farmer who had received a loan waiver of mere 1 paisa on his crop loan of Rs. 1.55 lakh amount, will get his due waiver of Rs one lakh after his functioning bank account is linked with the Aadhar card, District Magistrate Arvind Malappa Bangari said on Tuesday. 

Chiddi Singh, a marginal farmer from the Govardhan Tehsil of Mathura, had called the incident a "cruel joke" on the part of the government, after he received a waiver of a measly amount of 1 paisa under the Uttar Pradesh government's ambitious 'Rin Mochan Yojana', a farmer loan waiver scheme. 

However, a government official told news agency PTI that the discrepancy occurred as a defunct bank account of  Singh had been automatically taken into consideration under the scheme. 

Since his first account was linked with the Aadhaar card, it was selected automatically. Since a loan of Rs 0.01 was shown on March 31, 2016, a waiver of 1 paise was given, he added. 
Bangari also added that while waiving the loan in first phase, only bank accounts linked with the Aadhaar card were taken into consideration.

According to the DM, Singh had opened an account with the Punjab National Bank in Govardhan in 2011. Due to irregularities, the account was "restructured" and a different account was opened with the bank, he said.

"As the restructured account of Chiddi Singh shows loan of Rs 2,23,222 he will get the benefit of Rs one lakh after this account is linked to the Aadhaar card," Bangari said. 

The 'Rin Mochan Yojana', launched in April this year by the Yogi Adityanath government, provides a crop loan waiver for the farmers for up to Rs. 1,00,000. Around 12 lakh farmers are said to have benefited from the scheme.

(With inputs from PTI)

12103 - Instant Aadhaar enrolment for newborns at Civil Hospital - The Tribune

Posted at: Sep 21, 2017, 1:22 AM; last updated: Sep 21, 2017, 1:22 AM (IST)

Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 20

Now, the Civil Hospital will enroll the babies for the Unique Identification Number (UID) immediately after their birth. The staff at the hospital has been trained for the purpose and equipment has also been installed.

Deputy Medical Commissioner Dr Prabhdeep Kaur Johal said, “The child will be issued the unique identity number at the hospital. Parents will have to get it updated when the child attains the age of five and 18 years. Even if the child is yet to be named, the UID will be issued and name can be updated later.”

She said the project was initiated yesterday and UIDs were issued to over 15 children. “The hard copy of the Aadhaar Card would be delivered at the residential address of the parents directly by the Unique Identification Authority after a few days,” she said.

Earlier, the parents usually took children to Aadhaar enrolment centres only after they attained the age of five years, officials said.

12102 - Hyderabad: Get ready to show your Aadhaar to have a drink at a pub - India Today

The prohibition and excise Department has asked owners of all pubs across Hyderabad to ensure that their clients carry Aadhaar cards to prove their age.

 | Edited by Kritika Banerjee

Hyderabad, September 20, 2017 | UPDATED 13:34 IST

The excise department has mandatory for people to show their IDs before entering a pub. Photo for representation: Reuters.

Be ready to show your Aadhaar before entering a pub in Hyderabad.

The prohibition and excise department of Telangana has made it mandatory for pub-goers to show an identity card, particularly Aadhaar, for entry.

The step is an attempt to check entry of minors at pubs where they are often served alcohol.

The investigation in the murder of a 17-year-old girl revealed that she along with other minors were served alcohol at a city-based hotel. Investigators found that the girl, who was a student of Silver Oaks School, was a frequent pub-goer. The incident raised questions on entry of minors at pubs where they are served alcohol.

The prohibition and excise department has now asked owners of all pubs across Hyderabad to ensure that their clients carry Aadhaar cards to prove their age. Those below 21 years of age will not be allowed to enter a pub.

Excise Commissioner R V Chandravadan told India Today that the department is insisting on identity proofs from minors to check drunk driving. "We have also asked pubs and bars to serve liquor in limited quantity to prevent untoward incidents," he said, adding that the state has tied up with cab aggregators like Ola and Uber to provide safe rides to pub-goers.

The government has also instructed pub and bar managers to maintain a separate register with details of their clients. Besides preventing entry of under-age visitors at the pubs, the move could also help the excise department track movement of those it suspects of being involved in drug rackets.

The SIT investigating the infamous synthetic drug racket in Hyderabad had earlier issued warning to 14 city pubs and suspended the license of the high-profile F Club. The excise department had warned pubs and hotels against sale and consumption of drugs in their premises.

12101 - Gates report praises Aadhaar, Jan Dhan scheme - Indian Express

The praise comes in the backdrop of continuing privacy concerns in India about Aadhaar. It also comes when there is growing distrust in the government on foreign agencies working in the development sector.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New York | Updated: September 21, 2017 4:41 am

A development report released by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has praised Aadhaar and the Indian government’s efforts at financial inclusion through schemes such as the Jan Dhan Yojana.

This is the first “Goalkeepers: The Stories Behind the Data” 2017 report that will be published every year till 2030 — the deadline for the sustainable development goals (SDGs) — in a bid to diagnose urgent problems and identify key development solutions.

“India has been especially innovative about investing in the building blocks of digital financial inclusion. Aadhaar, a nationwide biometric identification system, makes it simpler and more secure for poor people to do business. India’s regulators have implemented new rules that give financial institutions greater flexibility to provide a wider variety of services…. A new class of banks called payment banks has brought in new private sector players to the market and opened millions of new accounts. 

In 2014, the government launched a programme called PMJDY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana) to help the poor open accounts in huge numbers and it recently started providing benefits to them through these accounts,” the report says.
The praise comes in the backdrop of continuing privacy concerns in India about Aadhaar. It also comes when there is growing distrust in the government on foreign agencies working in the development sector and the home ministry’s crackdown on violators of the Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act.

The Goalkeepers report quotes Rohini Pande, the Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, “Digital has changed the nature of banking and made it cheaper to reach the rural poor,” the report says.

The writer is in New York at the invitation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

12100 - Some ID, if not Aadhaar, needed for subsidised foodgrains: HC - Money Control

Sep 19, 2017 10:14 PM IST | Source: PTI

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that distribution of foodgrains without any identity proof will lead to people coming to Delhi from all over the country which would strain the resources of the city.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that Delhi'ites seeking to avail subsidised foodgrains under the public distribution system (PDS) should have some sort of identification if they do not have Aadhaar cards.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that distribution of foodgrains without any identity proof will lead to people coming to Delhi from all over the country which would strain the resources of the city.
"Imagine the whole of India converging on the metropolis. Where will the housing, water and sanitation come from," it asked an NGO which has sought disbursal of subsidised foodgrains to the beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) without Aadhaar cards?
"Without any identification, everyone from all over will come here. Bring some ID. Even as per you, more (beneficiaries) have surfaced," it said.

The bench also refused to grant the NGO's interim plea for a stay on the rollout of the Aadhaar-linked point of sale (POS) machines at fair price shops for distribution of foodgrains and listed the matter for further hearing on November 7.
The Delhi government, represented by advocate Anuj Aggarwal, submitted a status report before the bench highlighting the benefits of rolling out the POS machines.
The status report said that POS machines would ensure authentification of beneficiaries, eradication of bogus ration cards, check on diversion and pilferage of subsidised foodgrains, enabling of digital payments as well as easier verification of stock at fair price shops.
The NGO, Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, had moved the court claiming that some slum dwellers in south Delhi were facing difficulties in getting subsidised foodgrains under the PDS due to lack of Aadhaar cards.
Under the NFSA which was rolled out across the country in November last year, five kgs of foodgrains per person is provided each month at Rs 1-3 per kg to over 80 crore people.
The Centre had earlier told the court that Aadhaar was made mandatory to ensure that the poor get subsidised foodgrains under the PDS.
Terming PDS as a "misused system", it had said that through Aadhaar, the endeavour was to ensure that the real beneficiaries get foodgrains.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) after collecting biometric data of the citizens.
The PIL has sought to quash of the Centre's February 8 notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits under the NFSA. The notification came into effect on February 8 in all states and UTs, except Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.

The petition has said the notification violates the basic principle of law enshrined in Articles 14 (equality) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

12099 - Aadhaar Articles dated 23rd September 2017

NDTV Profit
Linking of Aadhaar has been made mandatory for many essentials. These range from applying for a PAN or Permanent Account Number to filing ...

New Delhi: Salaries of Special Police Officers or SPOs who are posted across Jammu and Kashmir would now be made through Aadhaar-linked bank ...

Banks and telecom companies have been sending constant reminders to link Aadhaar to your respective accounts, but is that mandatory or even legal ...

Times of India
Meerut: The state project director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has instructed all the CDOs to ensure 100% Aadhaar enrollment for students of classes III, ...

Economic Times
As a financial services entrepreneur aiming to enable access to financial products for every Indian, I feel strongly that secure mobile Aadhaar-based ...

The UAN remains portable throughout the lifetime of an employee, who doesn't have to apply for PF transfer claims while changing jobs. Business ...

Hindu Business Line (blog)
Have you ever tried to change your address in a bank using Aadhaar. The process is simple. But are bank officials aware of the nuances? Surprisingly ...

NDTV Profit
The UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India is looking to recruit engineering and management graduates for its Aadhaar team. The UIDAI, the ...

Free Press Journal
Ghaziabad: The police on Friday arrested a Bangladeshi citizen living illegally in Ghaziabad. The police have registered a case against the accused.

Trak.in (blog)
Now, UIDAI, the statutory authority behind Aadhaar has taken notice of this, and have issued a notice to Airtel, asking some serious questions.

The Hindu
Having carried out almost fully the linking of database of beneficiaries of the public distribution system (PDS) with Aadhaar numbers, the authorities of ...

Business Standard
He said that the Government is proposing to link driving license with Aadhaar number to stop their duplication. Several crore fake gas connections ...

New Delhi, Sep 23: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been looking for engineers and management graduates for their Aadhaar ...

Telangana Today
... to create awareness on Mudra loans, Stand-Up India loans, PMSBY, PMJJBY, APY, Aadhaar Seeding, Aadhaar Authentication, Mobile Seeding etc.

Economic Times
... composite form, which is a declaration document filed by employee through employer to provide details like bank account number and Aadhaar.

... MyGov, who was present at the meeting, sought to allay privacy fears related to the database, specifying that it did not require Aadhaar details.

The Tribune
... matter that these unauthorised immigrants had been provided ration cards, voter cards and even Aadhaar cards, besides electricity connections.

The Tribune
Chandigarh: The registration for participation in e-auction of vehicle registration numbers of the series CH01-BP will be held from October 3 to 9.

Times of India
It was Subramanian who had coined the acronym JAM - which stands for Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile - to encourage technology-enabled, ...

Times of India
Further, out of the total, 46 lakh beneficiaries had been linked with Aadhaar numbers to facilitate money transfer under direct benefit transfer (DBT) ...

Times of India
Madurai: As a step towards realising late President Abdul Kalam's dream to make people in villagers internet savvy, the 'digital village programme' ...

The PIL also sought making of forged or fabricated PAN Cards, Aadhaar Cards, Passport, Ration Cards or Voter Cards a non-bailable, ...

Nagaland Post
Vizo also asserted linking of aadhaar to different schemes as an attempt to streamline development activities in the line of “Sabka Saath, Sabka vikas”.

Free Press Journal
Stating banking system as the lifeline of the economy, he said, “The Aadhaar law have been legislated. A large number of Indians have their unique ...