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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Press Release – #Aadhaar is linked to legislations on Land Acquisition and Land Titling

Press Release – #Aadhaar is linked to legislations on Land Acquisition and Land Titling

April 22, 2015: Questionable 12 digit biometric Unique Identity
(UID)/Aadhaar number CAN NOT be made mandatory for any government
service according to the attached Supreme Court orders of September
23, 2013, November 26, 2013, March 24, 2014 and March 16, 2015.
Supreme Court's Three Judge bench of Justices J. Chelameswar, S.A.
Bobde and C.Nagappan expressing dissatisfaction at defiance of court's
repeated orders. As per March 16, 2015 order "Pleadings (are) be
completed before the end of April, 2015." Notably, So far  opposition
parties have failed to note that biometric aadhaar number is linked to
legislations on land Acquisition and land titling. It is abundantly
clear that the biometric aadhaar number case has become the litmus
test to demonstrate whether rule of law still exists in India or
biometric surveillance companies have subverted Indian legal and
political system for good.

In the current situation, it is the moral and political duty of the
genuine opposition parties to ensure that aadhaar is abandoned. It is
noteworthy that Section 10 and 36 of the Land Titling Bill is linked
to aadhaar. It has been disclosed in writing by the government that
new land acquisition law was meant to create a "perfect land market"
and by former Chairman of UIDAI that National ID will help create a
common land market, which he will have us believe reduce poverty.

If any citizen of India has been denied or being denied any
entitlement or government service because they don't have 12 digit
biometric Unique Identity (UID)/Aadhaar number, the Supreme Court must
be informed about it at their official postal address, fax and email: (with a cc to

It must be noted that the message must mention, "For the kind
attention of Hon'ble Mr Justice Chelameswar and companion judges
hearing the matter regarding Aadhaar, in the matter of Writ Petition
(Civil) Nos. 833 of 2013 and 494 of 2012″. The submissions need to be
made before 30 April.

The attached order of Chief Justice bench of Punjab & Haryana High
Court in CWP No.569 of 2013 dated March 2, 2013 established that when
the High Court raised questions of legality of aadhaar, the Union of
India withdrew the circular making aadhaar mandatory for acceptance of
application for registration of vehicle and learner/regular driving
license. By implication this is application this is relevant to all
the departments and agencies which are making aadhaar mandatory.

The fact is there is a compelling logic for abandoning the biometric
aadhaar project the way it has been done in UK, China, Australia,
France, USA and Philippines. UIDAI has been severely indicted by
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in its report placed
before Parliament. The Standing Committee rejected the National
Identification Authority of India Bill which sought to legitimize
UIDAI's illegal status post facto. It observed that while framing of
relevant law is under way, the continuance of the UID/Aadhaar project
is "unethical and violation of Parliament's prerogatives". The
collection of biometric and personal data and issuing of aadhaar/UID
numbers do not have any statutory sanction until the Bill is passed by

It is noteworthy that E.A.S.Sarma, former Secretary to Government of
India wrote to the Prime Minister saying, "Government's right to
collect information relating to individual citizens, unless
necessitated by national security considerations, arises from its role
as a trustee on behalf of the citizens. As such, the relevant
information has a great deal of sanctity attached to it. The
government holds such information in a purely fiduciary capacity. The
citizen's privacy cannot therefore be wantonly and irresponsibly
violated by a fiat of executive instructions initiated at the instance
of individuals who are more interested in inducting private agencies
not accountable to the people and the legislature, than upholding the
public interest."

Sarma added, "It is bizarre that the government should first collect
personal information from unsuspecting citizens as a trustee and then
surreptitiously pass on the ownership of such information to a private
agency, guided more by the profit motive than the public interest. It
is equally bizarre that the government should demote its own role to
that of a customer of the private company in seeking access to the
information base. All this amounts to a gross breach of the trust
reposed by the citizens in the government. The proposal becomes all
the more dubious in view of the monopolistic status sought to be given
to the private agency "owning" the citizens' information in its hands.
I feel that the proposal is an ominous one as it would involve an
outright handing over of the citizens' private information to a few
private agencies whose motives could never be gauged and who have no
accountability to the legislature. It is a proposal that should be
rejected forthwith without any hesitation."

He concluded saying, "I get the uncomfortable feeling that it forms
part of a more dubious scheme being contemplated by your government.
If the government persists with this scheme, I will not hesitate to
seek judicial intervention in this matter."

Although belated in the aftermath of disclosures by Wikileaks, Edward
Snowden, Citizen Four, Grec Greenwald and the surveillance of Netaji
Subhas Chandra Bose by MI 5 after independence, now that the fearful
ramifications are visible on the horizon, the question is who is
stopping, Non-Congress and Non-BJP ruled states from unsigning the
Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) that they have signed with UIDAI.

It is noteworthy that one of the most successful examples of
implementation of biometric identification is Pakistan. What has
improved in Pakistan due to its implementation? Even sim cards in
Pakistan is done based on biometric identification. The current
government is following the footprints of an experiment which has been
tried, tested and failed.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL),
Mb: 09818089660, 08227816731, E-mail:

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