UID/Aadhaar
“Aadhaar is like having built a bridge and looking for a river. It is hunting for problems to make itself relevant,” says Arvind Datar in SC
Senior counsel Arvind P Datar on Thursday, criticised the logic to link the UID to permanent account number (PAN) for which the government claims there are just 0.4% duplicates. The arguments in the SC on Thursday were live-tweeted by the public-spirited Prasanna S (@prasanna_s), based on which we have put together this article.
 
He said, "You can make a class because individuals are of course different from companies. But what is the nexus with the object? Aadhaar is sold as a panacea for all ills - black money, terrorism, and leakage, like some herbal medicine. Aadhaar is like having built a bridge and looking for a river. It is hunting for problems to make itself relevant."
 
Citing a speech by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Aadhaar Bill, Mr Datar told the Court, "... he (Mr Jaitley) says a man must have a right to not join Aadhaar. Even as late as 30 November 2016, there have been representations that Aadhaar will always be voluntary."
 
Commenting on this, Justice AK Sikri says, "Earlier they said that they can deny benefits without Aadhaar. Will they now say you need not pay tax (if you do not link PAN with Aadhaar)?" This of course resulted in eruption loud laughter in the courtroom. 
 
The Bench of Justice Sikri, and Justice Ashok Bhushan, which is hearing three public interest litigations (PIL) about linking the Aadhaar number to the permanent account number (PAN) for filing income tax returns, has asked both the sides to submit written arguments by Monday. 
 
Mr Datar also pointed out before the apex court how the government is giving a wrong impression about fake permanent account number (PAN) and the difference between PAN holders and tax returns. "Wrong impression given to the Court that there are many fake or duplicate PANs and the difference between PAN holders and returns. Proliferation of PANs is because PAN became mandatory for procuring SIM cards, credit cards, and passports."
 
The argument put forward by government of linking PAN with Aadhaar was requirement under the FATCA. Refuting the contention, Mr Datar said, "There is absolutely nothing in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) of the US that requires Aadhaar! Under the FATCA, what is required is only verification, which may be any valid identification and Aadhaar not necessary. FATCA applies only for financial institutional investors (FIIs)."
 
An inter-governmental agreement between India and the US was signed in August 2015 for the implementation of FATCA, to ensure tax is paid on the income generated from abroad.
 
Interrupting Mr Datar, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Arghya Sengupta told the Court that limited argument on FATCA is that the government needs to give PAN details of Indian taxpayers to the US government. "We cannot give duplicate PAN details... (as it) causes embarrassment...," the ASG said.
 
When Mr Datar pointed out that as per the government submission, there are only 11 lakh duplicates in the PAN, the ASG said this was based on 0.2% sampling. "That is even more shocking. Elementary mistake of statistical sampling. When your own statistics say only 0.4% is duplicate what is the logic in asking 99.6% to link it with Aadhaar?" Mr Datar asked. 
 
  
The senior counsel also questioned enforcement of Aadhaar on citizens under one or other pretext by the government and how absurd it would be if the income tax act makes Aadhaar mandatory while the Aadhaar Act says it is voluntary. He also reminded the court the the 15.10.2015 SC order has spoken unequivocally about voluntary nature of Aadhaar while limiting it to six schemes.
He said, “When the Supreme Court has given a direction, it is as much binding on Parliament as any other organisation. A SC directive or a judgment is sacrosanct unless it is set aside in a manner known to law. The Aadhaar Act must make it clear that the basis (of keeping Aadhaar voluntary) of the earlier orders have been removed. Unless the subsequent circumstances are fundamentally altered such that the earlier orders could not be passed today, the SC orders stand. Unless Aadhaar is made mandatory under Section 3, the earlier orders' basis is not removed by legislature. Even an interim order is a judicial order. As long as that judicial order remains, it (Aadhaar) is (limited to) six and six schemes alone.”
 
He asked, "Is the Supreme Court a mere debating society? Tomorrow they will make it mandatory for GST. MCA has the audacity to say it will be made mandatory soon for accessing MCA21 services despite the orders. I keep hearing '99% have enrolled, what is your problem?' That is the death knell of democracy when minorities are forced like this. They cannot do what they want. Constitution was designed to get the government off people's backs."
 
 
 
"This is a first encroachment of interim orders of the Court. It must be nipped in the bud. You cannot wait for a ripe time later. What this Bench will decide will have far reaching consequences for individual, salaried person, businessman, and partner," Mr Datar concluded.
 

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COMMENTS

Amit Anam

2 months ago

http://greatgameindia.com/ch-2-information-technologists-ill-informed-monkeys/

Mahesh S Bhatt

3 months ago

US has reduced mail scanning our government want all without giving its anarchists state of affairs.Vijay Mallya's fly as MP's under the nose of Government/Sahara's donot pay /NPA's rise/UP Government Rs 36359 crores/Ajit Pawar's 21000 cr dam scam is under cover of Chagan Bhujbal's 8800 Crore Maharashtra sadan scam/Sharad Pawar gets Padma award resigns as BCCI Chief to recommend him as President/NPA's rise in all sectors/PPF interest goes down/No tax relief add on swach taxes/Farmer's Die/Solider's Die in Mera Bharat Mahaaan As Cybersecurity Expert National Data breaches are happening in USA/UK & Indian Ministries claim brazenly we are safe/No privacy laws ... Amen Mahesh Bhatt

Kamal Kant Mishra

3 months ago

Probably this is an experiment to control a Country which in a few years will have the largest population in the world.
Probably this is being done at the behest of some forces who work behind the scenes to control nations.
India was under Mughal Rule, Then under British Rule, Then Under Gandhi Clan, Now with Economic Open Policy & Foreign Institutional Investors investing heavily & owning almost 30 to 45 % of Indian companies via Mutual Funds, Loans, Seed Capital, etc etc - possibly this is the best way to control a country - By mapping all its citizens.
JUST THINK if this was true ... What would be one's fate ???

Kamal Kant Mishra

3 months ago

Imagine a scenario where Aadhar Linked with Google Maps can track & Trace you.
Imagine a Scenario where your FREEDOM / privacy is compromised.
You can be made to do things you don't wish as someone is watching / tracking you.
Imagine a scenario where someone hacks into your Aadhar - from which your Bank account, Your Mobile, Your Income Tax, Your Travels, Your family, Your Children can be mapped & tracked.
It is understandable that Aadhar was made for Voting - but adding more to it is making one a puppet in hands of those in power, hackers, Internet Service Providers.
Imagine a Judge / Minister / Businessman / Bank Manager Travelling in a Vehicle & a Hacker or Terrorist or Govt or Crooks / Kidnappers knowing which route is being taken - time to get there - knowing how much the person is worth by obtaining his income tax data, by where his children are, what time they get home, etc etc etc.
If AADHAR is allowed to expand it will be the worst blow of FREEDOM to HUMAN RACE & With Artificial Intelligence expanding so fast & Robots & Computer programmes controlling daily utilities in life, like Train Scheduling, Air Flights, All Humans will become numbers & trackable device. Reminds me of the movie "MATRIX".
Indians in India was a non taxpaying in early 1900's - Since past 68 years taxes have increased & almost all things are taxed - My suggestion is why not AADHAR pay a daily livelihood for food, house, electricity & phone & keep the rest instead of asking & using Income Tax as an excuse.

B. KRISHNAN

3 months ago

I think the fears about Adhaar invading privacy of individuals is exaggerated. When Government (from public funds) subsidises so many things, it is essential to see that only the targeted group are getting the benefits, in order to avoid leakage. In our country, everyone jumps in to criticise the Govt. Actually our anger should be turned against the courts for the delay the common man experiences today in getting justice!

REPLY

Aditya

In Reply to B. KRISHNAN 3 months ago

true, Aadhaar itself apart from PAN, Voter-Id, Vehicle Registration, Passport, Driving License just to name a few are all outsourced and subsidised huh? Beneficiaries obviously outsourced entities. What is all this subsidies for if some reports say there are people in this country who die of hunger everyday? Does it mean those reports are wrong OR probably they don't want to eat OR govts. just don't care about them, OR under the pretext of pursuing this end govts. devise means (such as the subject matter of this entire discussion) to control the population.
First link aadhaar with voter-Id.

Ramesh Bajaj

In Reply to B. KRISHNAN 3 months ago

The courts are hardly for the common man. An article, by Dr.S.D.Israni, in Moneylife, explains very well how courts are for a luxory which the well- heeled can approach. There is so much abuse of the process of law. Everyone must read this article.

Simple Indian

3 months ago

The very issuance of Aadhar, like PAN Card is dubious to say the least. In both cases, the concerned depts/org'ns merely accept any of the valid 'supporting' documents to issue the Aadhar / PAN Card, which is why millions of illegal immigrants, particularly from Bangladesh, and more recently Myanmar, have managed to procure Aadhar (which ironically states that it doesn't certify / bestow 'citizenship', yet is sufficient to avail of most Govt benefits meant for Indian Citizens). This itself is a big racket and scam being played on people of India, who will end up accommodating all these illegal immigrants' benefits by paying higher taxes to generate funds for Govt's welfare schemes. Hence, I wish Govt would discontinue Aadhar and instead start a new Citizenship Card which should be provided strictly on verification of all particulars of the applicant (as is done in case of Passport application). The USA has a robust Social Security No mechanism, which doesn't include biometric data, unlike Aadhar, yet has served its stated purpose of providing Govt benefits to the target groups. The very fact that a scheme which didn't even have any statutory backing, yet allowed the Govt (then UPA) to spend thousands of crores of public money was by itself questionable and sufficient reason for the SC to strike it down. Yet, the SC in its wisdom allowed the then UPA Govt to use Aadhar for limited Govt welfare schemes, which was bound to be misused/abused by the Govt. Also, the fact that Aadhar is being backed by the NDA Govt despite opposing it during UPA regime shows its sinister uses for the Govt, which may be unraveled over time.

Aditya

3 months ago

Instead of all those arguments for / against linking aadhaar-PAN, a directive from SC to link Aadhaar-VoterID first, or just make Aadhaar itself the only VoterID to eliminate bogus/ multiple VoterIDs, would check-mate, those in favor of the former!

SuchindranathAiyerS

3 months ago

Modi is being distracted, quite easily, with crazy ideas instead of pursuing what needs to be done. Further he swears that the anti national Constitution is his religion. Instead of tackling issues head on he is being fooled with ideas and "technology" gimmicks that will not deliver any concrete results but only wate time and money. Corruption cannot be tackled with Aadhar, demonetization or GeoTagging. The corrupt are not being prosecuted. Instead citizens are being harassed. He has given a Padma vi Bhushan to his "guru" Sharad Pawar and has inducted SM Krishna into the BJP. Given more time, he will become even more Khangress-UPA than the Khangress UPA. That is the direction he has taken. He has not tackled the corrupt VIPs. instead he has given a 35% pay hike to the least productive and most corrupt section of Indian society. I am not at all convinced about his bonafides any more

Nifty, Sensex Moving Sideways – Thursday closing report
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Senses were still range-bound. The major indices of the Indian stock markets made a small rally on Thursday and closed with minor gains over Wednesday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Indian equity markets cheered the decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and traded on a buoyant note during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday. Banking stocks witnessed a surge of around 500 points or 2% after the cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday night, approved an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act to tackle the mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks. Investors' sentiments got a filip after the cabinet approved the National Steel Policy, 2017, along with other major decisions. According to market observers, the US Federal Reserve's decision to keep key interest rates unchanged also boosted investors' sentiments. On the NSE, there were 784 advances, 735 declines and 79 unchanged. The BSE market breadth was bullish -- with 1,374 advances and 1,287 declines.
 
Entering the lucrative mango drinks market with its 'Slurp' brand, dairy major Parag Milk Foods Ltd. will take the brand to the national level soon, a top company official said on Thursday. "We will take the product nationally after seeing public response to the product in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Kanpur," company Chairman Devendra Shah told reporters here while launching the product. Parag Milk manufactures a range of dairy products and had earlier entered the beverages segment with its flavoured milk. According to Shah, the company has identified the beverages segment as the growth driver. According to Mahesh Israni, Chief Marketing Officer, the Indian fruit drink market is worth over Rs10,000 crore and the mango-based drink market is the largest in the segment.  The company’s shares closed at Rs237.00, down 0.11% on the BSE.
 
India's services sector, which continued to expand for the third successive month in April, registered the lowest reading during the three-month period. The Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 50.2 in April, down from 51.5 in March and compared to 50.3 in February.  An index reading of above 50 indicates an overall increase, while below 50 an overall decrease. "April PMI data for the Indian service sector show how jittery the current economic environment is, igniting concerns among some businesses, despite remaining in growth territory. Slower and only marginal increases in new work and activity were seen, with these indicators close to the stagnation mark," said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at IHS Markit and author of the report. Firms were cautiously optimistic towards future performance, and have been so for a while, pointed out the analyst. Some of the sectoral indices in the Indian stock markets are likely to be bearish for medium term investors in this context.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Daylight robberies rattle bank managements in Kashmir
Although bank robberies by gunmen started in Kashmir in the early 1990s with the outbreak of the armed separatist struggle, their unprecedented spurt in recent months has rattled everybody -- to the extent that the army and the police launched a huge crackdown on Thursday, searching at least 20 villages in the Valley's Shopian district.
 
The first bank robbery took place in the mid-1990s in Maharaj Gunj area of Srinagar's old city when gunmen looted Rs 40,000 from a J&K Bank branch.
 
Another daylight robbery took place in Anantnag town, again in the mid-1990s in which gunmen looted over Rs 1 crore from a J&K Bank branch.
 
"The insecurity haunting bank staff and customers forced the managements of all banks operating in the Valley to shut branches in inaccessible, largely unsecured areas during mid-1990s," said a senior officer of a public sector bank here.
 
"These remote branches were clustered together to operate from safer places in towns and cities. As the security situation improved, the clustered branches were re-located to their original places in villages and other far-flung areas," he added.
 
This was the period when all the bank staff belonging to Kashmiri Pandit community had migrated out of the Valley.
 
A special recruitment drive was started by the State Bank of India during the mid-1990s to augment its workforce by recruiting local youth.
 
As things started improving towards late 1990s and early 2000s, bank robberies had stopped in the Valley.
 
The recent spurt in robberies dates back to the last six to eight months and the audacity with which they have taken place has shocked everybody.
 
The Valley's largest regional rural bank, the Ellaquai Dehati Bank has most of its over 50 branches located in villages and remote areas of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Badgam, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam districts.
 
"Our branches both in cities and villages are operating without any security," said a senior officer of the Ellaquai Dehati Bank.
 
"Since the objective of a rural bank is to provide banking facilities to the middle and less privileged sections of society, our bank plays a major role in the rural credit delivery system.
 
"During the last eight months, there have been three unsuccessful nocturnal theft incidents at our branches in which the thieves attempted to unsuccessfully break open the cash chests.
 
"During the last one week, two daylight robberies have taken place -- one in Kulgam district on Tuesday in which Rs 65,000 was looted at gunpoint and the other in Pulwama district where Rs 4.92 lakh were looted on Wednesday," he added.
 
The most serious threat because of the daylight robberies is faced by the J&K Bank that has the largest presence in the Valley's cities, towns and villages.
 
"We have over 200 branches in rural and far-flung areas of the Valley. Our cash dispensing vans, secured by armed guards belonging both to the bank and the state police, move on an almost daily basis dispensing cash to branches in the Valley," said a top official of the J&K Bank.
 
"Given our presence and reach, we are the most vulnerable in a situation like the present one," he added.
 
The official sounded cynical when asked whether demonetisation had a bearing on the spurt in bank robberies.
 
"I don't see any link between demonetisation and the spurt in bank robberies. It is essentially a security issue. When a free-for-all situation occurs like the one we see in south Kashmir areas, the rule of law is naturally the first casualty," he said.
 
On Monday in an audacious attack, gunmen killed five policemen and two guards of the J&K Bank in Kulgam district. On Wednesday gunmen robbed Rs 1.30 lakh from a branch of the same bank in Pulwama district.
 
"It is the people's money and trust that is being looted. I appeal to the youth to help restore normalcy in the Valley so that peace returns," Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Wednesday when she visited the family of a bank guard killed by militants on Monday.
 
"Securing each bank in the remote areas by providing guards to every branch in these areas needs manpower which is difficult to arrange at present," said a top officer of the state police.
 
"But we have started area domination in vulnerable areas so that an overall sense of security returns to these areas," the officer added.
 
More than 3,000 security personnel drawn from the army, police and the paramilitary forces started a massive search operation in Shopian district on Thursday involving over 20 villages.
 
Militants have been known to move about freely in these areas during recent months.
 
Security force officials said the Shopian operation was the largest such by the security forces since last year's unrest, which started in the Valley in July.
 
It is, however, a moot point whether such operations are able to instil confidence among the banking staff to carry on daily operations and at the same time send out a message to the militants that the Valley's banks are not up for grabs.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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