Tuesday, March 25, 2014

SC: Withdraw Orders Making Aadhaar Must for any Service


Withdraw orders making Aadhaar mandatory for any service: SC to Centre

With additional information from PTI and IANS

Mar 24, 2014 at 04:18 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed the Government of India to withdraw all orders, which make the Aadhaar card mandatory for availing any service. The court has also directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) not to share any information pertaining to an Aadhaar card holder with any government agency without the prior permission of the card holder.

The Supreme Court was hearing the petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar card with those opposing the mega project saying it was not backed by any statute and compromises with national security.

Further, a three-judge bench headed by Justice BS Chauhan was also told that the project not only violates the right to privacy but the "biometrics", which is the foundation of the project, is an unreliable and untested technology and public funds are being channeled to private enterprises without sufficient validation.

Earlier in 2013, the apex court had also issued an interim order which had said Aadhaar card be not made mandatory for people for availing any government services and nobody should be deprived of any such facilities for want of the card.

The Centre, UIDAI and three oil PSUs - IOCL, BPCL and HPCL - had later on moved the apex court seeking modification of its earlier order that Aadhaar card is not mandatory and no person should suffer for want of it in getting the benefits of government schemes.

The petitioners, including Justice K Puttaswamy, former high court judge and Major General SG Vombatkere, who retired as Additional Director General, Discipline and Vigilance in Army HQ, also sought to restrain the Centre, Planning Commission and the UIDAI from issuing Aadhaar cards by way of an executive order of January 28, 2009.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan had in the beginning of the arguments by saying that "there is no statute to back the project" and even if there were one, the statute would be violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution as the project enables surveillance of individuals and impinges upon right to human dignity. 

Maintaining that whenever state seeks to impinge upon fundamental rights, its action must be backed by statute and not mere executive fiat, the senior advocate said, "Here, the action under the impugned project of collecting personal biometric information without statutory backing is ultra vires even where an individual voluntarily agrees to part with biometric information."

He contended that the project would not stand the test of Constitution as there is no statutory guidance on who and how the biometric information has to be collected. The advocate said the task has been given to some private entities without sufficient validation. 

Further, there was no clarity on storage, usage and protection of data, he said, adding "the project is also ultra vires because under the constitutional scheme any action of the state that could potentially impinge on an individual's freedom must be backed by statute."

The petitioners said that the procedure adopted by UIDAI in collecting data was also violative of Article 21 as individuals are not told about crucial aspects such as potential misuse of the information, the absence of any statutory protection, commercial value of the information and that private parties are involved in collecting biometric information without safeguards. 

The bench, which is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the scheme, had earlier said the stand of state governments needs to be considered while adjudicating the case on Aadhaar card.

Meanwhile, a total of 576.16 million Aadhaar cards had been issued till January 31, with Maharashtra topping the list with 82.99 million beneficiaries, the government informed the Lok Sabha last month. 

Andhra Pradesh (79.06 million) and Tamil Nadu (44.33 million) were placed in the second and third spots, Minister of State for Planning Rajeev Shukla said in a written statement. 

They were followed by Madhya Pradesh (42.44 million), Karnataka (41.76 million), Rajasthan (38.33 million), West Bengal (34.92 million), Kerala (30.44 million), Gujarat (26.43 million) and Jharkhand (25.82 million).

Courtesy_

Also read the related stories

மத்திய அரசின் 'ஆதார்' திட்டத்துக்கு மூடுவிழா: சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட் வைத்தது 'ஆப்பு!'

பதிவு செய்த நாள்: மார் 24, 2014 23:44

புதுடில்லி: 'திருமண பதிவு, எரிவாயு இணைப்பு உள்ளிட்ட, அரசின் எந்த ஒரு சேவையையும் பெற, ஆதார் அட்டை அவசியமில்லை. இதுபோன்ற சேவைகளை பெற, ஆதார் அட்டை அவசியம் என, ஏதாவது உத்தரவு பிறப்பிக்கப்பட்டிருந்தால், அந்த உத்தரவை, உடனடியாக வாபஸ் பெற வேண்டும்' என, மத்திய அரசுக்கு, சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட் உத்தரவிட்டுள்ளது.

நாட்டில் வசிக்கும், அனைத்து குடிமக்களுக்கும், அவர்களை பற்றிய, அனைத்து விவரங்களையும், முறையாக பதிவு செய்வதற்காக, 'ஆதார்' என்ற திட்டத்தை, 2009ல், மத்திய அரசு கொண்டு வந்தது. இந்த திட்டத்தின்படி, ஒவ்வொருவருக்கும், 12 இலக்கங்களை உடைய எண்ணுடன் கூடிய, அடையாள அட்டை வழங்கப்படும். அதில், ஒவ்வொருவரின், கைவிரல் ரேகை, பெயர், முகவரி ஆகிய விவரங்கள் இடம்பெற்றிருக்கும்.

'இன்போசீஸ்'

இந்த திட்டத்தை செயல்படுத்துவதில், காங்., தலைமையிலான மத்திய அரசு, தீவிரம் காட்டியது. இதற்காக, 'இன்போசீஸ்' தகவல் தொழில்நுட்ப நிறுவனத்தைச் சேர்ந்த, நந்தன் நிலேகனியை, ஆதார் அடையாள அட்டை வழங்கும் ஆணையத்தின் தலைவராக நியமித்தது. 

பெரும்பாலானோருக்கு அடையாள அட்டை வழங்கப்படாத நிலையில், மத்திய அரசின் சேவைகளை பெறுவதற்கு, ஆதார் அடையாள அட்டை கட்டாயம் என்றும், கிராமப்புற வேலை வாய்ப்பு திட்டம், சமையல் காஸ் மானியம் உள்ளிட்டவற்றின் கீழ், அரசால் வழங்கப்படும் பணம், ஆதார் அடையாள அட்டை திட்டம் மூலமாக, இனி நேரடியாக, சம்பந்தபட்டோரின் வங்கி கணக்கில் செலுத்தப்படும் என்றும், மத்திய அரசு தெரிவித்தது.

கடும் எதிர்ப்பு

இதற்கு, பல்வேறு தரப்பினரும், கடும் எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்தனர். சமூக ஆர்வலர், அருணா ராய், கர்நாடகா ஐகோர்ட் முன்னாள் நீதிபதி, புட்டாசாமி உள்ளிட்ட பலர், இதற்கு எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்து, சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட்டில், வழக்கு தொடர்ந்தனர்.இதை விசாரித்த சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட், 'அரசின் சேவைகளை பெற, ஆதார் அட்டை அவசியமில்லை' என, ஏற்கனவே உத்தரவு பிறப்பித்திருந்தது. இந்நிலையில், நீதிபதி, பி.எஸ்.சவுகான் தலைமையிலான, 'பெஞ்ச்' முன், இந்த வழக்கு, நேற்று, மீண்டும் விசாரணைக்கு வந்தது.

அப்போது, நீதிபதிகள் பிறப்பித்த உத்தரவு

அரசின் சேவைகளை பெற, ஆதார் அடையாள அட்டை அவசியமில்லை என, ஏற்கனவே உத்தரவு பிறப்பித்துள்ளோம். ஆனால், அந்த உத்தரவை பொருட்படுத்தாமல், அரசின் பல்வேறு துறைகளில், ஆதார் அட்டை கேட்கப்படுவதாக, பொதுமக்கள் தரப்பில் புகார் தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. ஒருவர், தன், திருமணத்தை பதிவு செய்வதற்கு, ஆதார் அட்டை கேட்கப்படுவதாக கூறியுள்ளார். 

மற்றொருவர், தன், சொத்துக்களை பதிவு செய்வதற்கு, ஆதார் அட்டை கேட்கப்படுவதாக கூறியுள்ளார்.வாபஸ் பெற வேண்டும்'அரசின் சேவைகளை பெறுவதற்கு, ஆதார் அட்டை அவசியம்' என, அரசு தரப்பில், ஏதாவது உத்தரவு பிறப்பிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளதா என, அறிய விரும்புகிறோம். அப்படி பிறப்பிக்கப்பட்டிருந்தால், உடனடியாக, அது தொடர்பான அனைத்து உத்தரவுகளையும், அரசு, வாபஸ் பெற வேண்டும்.

ஆதார் அடையாள அட்டைக்காக, பொதுமக்களிடம் சேகரிக்கப்பட்ட விவரங்களை, மிகவும் ரகசியமாக வைத்திருக்க வேண்டும். ஒரு சில மாநிலங்களில், குற்ற வழக்குகளை விசாரிப்பதற்காக, விசாரணை அமைப்புகள், ஆதார் அடையாள அட்டை ஆணையத்திடம், சம்பந்தப்பட்டோரின் தகவல்களை கேட்பதாக அறிகிறோம். இது தொடர்பான எந்த தகவல்களையும், ஆதார் அட்டை ஆணையம், யாருடனும் பகிர்ந்து கொள்ளக் கூடாது.

தனி நபரின் அந்தரங்க உரிமைகளை மீறும் வகையில், இந்த திட்டம் செயல்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளது. இந்த திட்டத்துக்காக செயல்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ள, 'பயோமெட்ரிக்' தொழில்நுட்பம், சோதித்து பார்க்கப்படாமலும், நம்பகத் தன்மை இன்றியும் உள்ளது. இத்திட்டத்துக்காக, பொதுமக்களின் பணம், தனியார் நிறுவனங்களுக்கு திருப்பி விடப்பட்டுள்ளது.இவ்வாறு, நீதிபதிகள் உத்தரவு பிறப்பித்துள்ளனர்.

ஆதார் திட்டத்துக்கு, பொதுமக்கள் மற்றும் அரசியல் கட்சிகள் தரப்பில், கடும் எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டது. 'நாட்டின் குடிமகன்கள் அல்லாதவர்கள் கூட, இந்த திட்டத்தின் கீழ், தங்களை பதிவு செய்து கொள்ள முடியும். 

இதனால், நாட்டின் பாதுகாப்புக்கு பெரும் ஆபத்து ஏற்படும்' என, எதிர்க்கட்சிகள் கூறின. ஆனாலும், ஆதார் அட்டை திட்டத்தை செயல்படுத்துவதில், மத்திய அரசு, ஆர்வமாகவும், தீவிரமாகவும் இருந்தது. சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட், தற்போது பிறப்பித்துள்ள உத்தரவின் மூலம், ஆதார் அட்டை திட்டம், முக்கியத்துவம் இழக்கும் நிலை ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது.

*கடந்த, ஜனவரி வரை, நாடு முழுவதும், 57 கோடி பேருக்கு ஆதார் அட்டை வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

*நாட்டிலேயே, அதிக அளவாக, மகாராஷ்டிராவில், எட்டு கோடி பேருக்கு, ஆதார் அட்டை வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

*ஆந்திராவில் ஏழு கோடி பேருக்கும், தமிழகத்தில், நான்கு கோடி பேருக்கும் வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

*ஒரு ஆதார் அட்டை தயாரிப்புக்கு, 100 ரூபாய் செலவிடப்படுவதாக கூறப்படுகிறது.

*கடந்த, 2009 ஜனவரியிலிருந்து, 2013 செப்டம்பர் வரை, இந்த திட்டத்துக்காக, 3,500 கோடி ரூபாய் செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளதாக, ஆதார் அட்டை ஆணையம் தெரிவித்துள்ளது.

*மத்திய அரசோ,'இந்த திட்டத்துக்காக, 50,000 கோடி ரூபாய் செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது' என, சுப்ரீம் கோர்ட்டில் தெரிவித்துள்ளது.

Courtesy_

Also read the related stories

SC: Withdraw Orders Making Aadhaar Must for any Service

By Express News Service - NEW DELHI 

Published: 25th March 2014 07:50 AM 

In a clear direction that a person’s information is private and cannot be misused, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to withdraw immediately the instruction, if any, issued by it for making Aadhaar card mandatory for citizens to avail of government services and restrained the UIDAI from sharing personal details of any citizen with any investigating agency.

“If there are any instructions that Aadhaar is mandatory, it should be withdrawn immediately,” a Bench of Justice B S Chauhan and Justice J Chelameswar said, while staying the order of the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court directing sharing of data collected for issuing Aadhaar card with the CBI for solving a rape case.

The court asked Solicitor-General Mohan Prasaran to withdraw the notification making the possession of Aadhaar card mandatory for availing benefits of certain government schemes.

“You issue instructions withdrawing the notification making Aadhaar card mandatory for availing the services wherever (it is) applicable.

We have already passed a stay order. Why you are not implementing it,” Justice Chauhan asked the Solicitor-General. pparently displeased over the non-implementation of the court’s order on not making Aadhaar mandatory, Justice Chauhan told Prasaran that he has been receiving letters, making various complaints, including that they were not getting their marriages and properties registered, as the authorities insisted on Aadhaar card.

In one case, a lady said that “my marriage is not being registered because of the lack of the Aadhaar card and some say my property is not getting registered because of the lack of Aadhaar”, Justice Chauhan told Prasaran.

Issuing notice on the plea, the court said “no person should be deprived of any services for not possessing the Aadhaar card, if he/she is eligible”.

‘Aadhar Exposed’

Investigative website ‘Cobrapost’ on Monday claimed that it had carried out an expose which allegedly revealed that the project officers of  Aadhaar-- the 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is touted as the UPA Government’s ambitious programme to provide welfare schemes,  were more than willing  to forge documents for sums ranging from `250 to ` 5,000 to enrol illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

The purported sting operation conducted by the website claimed that the enrolment officers gave assurances to not only provide the Aadhaar card but also proof of the Indian identity for a meagre amount.

Shockingly, Aadhar  is now accepted as proof of identity and address anywhere in India and can be used for opening bank accounts and obtaining telephone and LPG connections.

Some of the state governments have recognised it for their resident- centric schemes.

Courtesy_

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