RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: Expert committee report not part of a fiduciary relationship

An expert committee report was denied by the PIO on the grounds that it was held in a fiduciary capacity and hence exempted under Section 8 (1)(e) of the RTI Act. This contention was rejected by the CIC. This is the 13th in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Public Information Officer (PIO) cannot deny information by merely citing Section 8 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and without giving adequate reasoning. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner directed the PIO "to send a copy of the report submitted by the Expert Committee of the Council in respect of the proposed University School of Architecture Planning of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIU), and the attested copy of the minutes/record note of discussions of the meeting deliberations of the said Executive Committee to the appellant."
"Since Right to Information is a fundamental right of citizens, where denial has to be only on the basis of the exemptions under Section 8 (1), it is necessary to carefully explain the reasons of how any of the exemptions apply, when a PIO wishes to deny information on the basis of the exemptions. Merely quoting the sub-section of Section 8 is not adequate. Giving information is the rule and denial the exception," the Central Information Commission (CIC) said in its order dated 9 February 2009.
Mumbai resident R Sridhran, on 10 July 2008, sought attested copies of an Expert Committee report. He requested the following information from the PIO, Council of Architecture at the ministry of human resource development (HRD) of the Government of India...
1. Council of Architecture may kindly refer to enclosed copy of their letter no. CA-5/Academic dated 18/01/2008 addressed to members of the Expert Committee for their visit in the context of evaluation of the proposal of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIU) to start the five-year full time course in B Arch. In the GGSIPU's University school of Architecture & Planning and provide me with an attested complete copy of the said Expert Committee's report/recommendations.
2. It may kindly be indicated as to whether the recommendations/report of the aforesaid Expert Committee have been reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Council of Architecture. If so, an attested copy of the minutes/record note of discussions of the meeting / deliberations of the said Executive Committee may kindly be provided to me indicating the names of the members of the Committee who attended the meeting.
3. An attested copy of the latest response sent (position as on dated) by the Council of Architecture to the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University on their proposal referred to in (a) above.
The PIO refused to give the copy of the report submitted by the Expert Committee of the Council in respect of the proposed University School of Architecture Planning of GGSIPU. He had also denied the minutes and deliberations of the Executive Committee constitute the decision making process of the Council. This information has been claimed to be exempt under Section 8 (1)(e) by the PIO. 
The First Appellate Authority (FAA) has further claimed exemption under Section 8 (1)(g) stating that giving the information may divulge the source of information or assistance given for law enforcement purpose.
Mr Sridhran, then approached the CIC. In his written submission before the Commission, the PIO claimed that "...experts appointed by the Council… for inspecting architectural institutions is exempted under Section 8 (1)(e) of the Right to Information Act as the same are in the nature of fiduciary information. Such a relationship warrants the maintenance of highest confidentiality of the manner and method of evaluation, both by the Council and the experts and thus is in fiduciary relationship to each other."
He also contended that Regulation 30 (4) & (5) of the Council of Architecture Regulations, 1982, enjoins that the reports of inspectors are of confidential nature. The PIO also claimed that the inspection reports are also exempt under Section 8 (1)(g) of the RTI act as disclosure could endanger the life or physical safety or identify the source of information given in confidence for law enforcement.
Mr Gandhi, in his order noted that in the present case no reasoning has been given initially or in the written submissions by the PIO as to how releasing the report would lead to endangering the life or physical safety or identify the source of information given in confidence for law enforcement. "In the absence of any reasoning, the exemption under Section 8 (1)(g) is held to have been applied without any basis," he said.
The PIO's second basis for denial was Section 8 (1)(e) on the ground that the information-"the report of the Expert Committee"-is held by the Public authority in a fiduciary relationship. 
"When a committee is formed to give a report, the information provided by it in the report cannot be said to be given in a fiduciary relationship. All relationships usually have an element of trust, but all of them cannot be classified as fiduciary. The information in the report was certainly not given for the benefit of the Expert Committee. Hence, the contention that the Expert Committee gave the report in a fiduciary relationship is not correct," Mr Gandhi, the CIC, said.
The Commission directed the PIO to provide copy of the report by the Executive Committee and also attested copy of the minutes of the meeting of the Committee before 25 February 2009.
Decision No. CIC /SG/A/2008/00213/1566
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2008/00213

Appellant                                            : R Sridharan,



Respondent 1                                     : Vinod Kumar,

                                                            Registrar & PIO,

                                                            Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India

                                                            Council of Architecture,

                                                            India Habitat Centre, Core-6A, 1st Floor,

                                                            Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110003



Derivatives mess in India: Supreme Court’s ‘defaulter’ blow to corporates does not clarify core issues

The Supreme Court has ruled that dues by borrowers with regard to derivatives contract shall be covered under RBI’s Master Circular providing rules on wilful defaulters. The ruling does not resolve the controversy as it only addresses a minor issue. The heart of the matter—whether banks oversold, mis-sold or illegally sold derivatives to borrowers which were shown to be hedges but actually were not hedges—is yet to be resolved

Derivatives contracts have been a bone of contention with corporates and banks since 2007-08 and have been contested and argued before various judicial authorities. In several such derivatives litigations in India, banks have been classifying companies as wilful defaulters[1] under the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ‘Master Circular on Wilful Defaulters’ and the companies have been long contesting the issue arguing that the RBI Master Circular only covers “lender-borrower transactions” and that derivatives transactions does not involve a lender borrower relationship between the bank and the company.


The Supreme Court in its landmark judgement dated 11 December 2012 has held that dues by borrowers with regard to derivatives contract shall be covered under RBI’s Master Circular providing rules on wilful defaulters.


The order related to three different petitions—Kotak Mahindra Bank Vs Hindustan National Glass & Ind & Ors; Emcure Pharmaceuticals & Anr Vs ICICI Bank and Finolex Industries & Anr Vs Reserve Bank of India & Ors. An appeal arising out of a Special Leave Petition was made before the Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court’s order (Writ Petition No. 7729(W) of 2009) dated 1 September 2009 whereby the Calcutta High Court held that the Master Circular applied only to lending transactions of banks and financial institutions and in case of foreign exchange derivatives transactions there was no relation between the banks and the companies and therefore no action could be taken under the Master Circular against these companies on account of derivatives transactions. On the other hand the appeal before the apex court also entailed judgement of the Bombay High Court which held the view decision contrary to that of Calcutta High Court.


RBI’s stand in the appeal:

RBI, being party to the appeal, argued that the purpose of the Master Circular is to be taken into consideration. It may not specifically cover the definition of wilful defaulters but the Master Circular should be interpreted in an expansive way to cover new products as may evolve from time to time in the markets which includes derivatives transaction. Further, Clause 2.6 of the Master Circular states that when bank guarantees were invoked and are not honoured by the defaulting units on whose behalf the bank guarantee has been furnished, the defaulters are to be treated as wilful defaulters under the Master Circular. Similar was the case with derivatives dues as well.

Who is a wilful defaulter?

In the appeal before the Supreme Court, the interpretation of the term wilful defaulters under the Master Circular was made whereby the definition of wilful defaulters is reproduced below:


A "wilful default" would be deemed to have occurred if any of the following events is noted:-

  1. The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment/repayment obligations (emphasis ours) to the lender even when it has the capacity to honour the said obligations.
  2. The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment/repayment obligations to the lender and has not utilised the finance from the lender for the specific purposes for which finance was availed of but has diverted the funds for other purposes.
  3. The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment/repayment obligations to the lender and has siphoned off the funds so that the funds have not been utilised for the specific purpose for which finance was availed of, nor are the funds available with the unit in the form of other assets.
  4. The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment/ repayment obligations to the lender and has also disposed off or removed the movable fixed assets or immovable property given by him or it for the purpose of securing a term loan without the knowledge of the bank/lender.

The apex court stated the following on the issue:

  1. The settled principle of interpretation is that the word is a statute or a document are to be interpreted in the context or subject matter in which the words are used and not in according to its literal meaning. Hence the interpretation of the word ‘lender’ in the definition of wilful default as considered by Calcutta High Court to construe a lender-borrower relation does not hold good.
  2. On the other hand, the stand taken by Bombay High Court on wilful default to include derivative dues relying on the other circulars on prudential norms, classification of assets as non-performing, etc is not correct as these circulars do not clarify the definition of wilful default and do not constitute the context or the subject matter in which the definition of wilful default in the Master Circular has been construed.
  3. On reading the ‘Introduction’ paragraph of the Master Circular, it indicates that the Master Circular originated pursuant to instructions of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for improving vigilance administration in banks. The instructions of the CVC pursuant to which the scheme relating to collection and dissemination of credit information on wilful defaulters was formulated by the RBI were to cover “all cases of wilful defaults of Rs25 lakh and above.” The purpose was to improve the intra-bank communications on cases of wilful defaults, frauds, cheating, etc. The intent was to ensure that all cases of wilful default of Rs25 lakh and above were to be reported by banks to RBI and such cases were not confined to wilful default by a borrower of his dues to a bank in a lender-borrower relationship.
  4. The purpose of the Master Circular is “to put in place a system to disseminate credit information pertaining to wilful defaulters for cautioning banks and financial institutions so as to ensure that further bank finance is not made available to them.”
  5. The purpose of the Master Circular being to caution banks and financial institutions from giving any further bank finance to a wilful defaulter, credit information cannot be confined to only the wilful defaults made by existing borrowers of the bank, but will also cover constituents of the bank, who have defaulted in their dues under banking transactions with the banks and who intend to avail further finance from the banks.

The judgement of Calcutta High Court was set aside and that of Bombay High Court was sustained.

Consequences of being declared as a wilful defaulter:

Under the Master Circular, the following measures may be taken by bank/ financial institution against a wilful defaulter:

  1. No additional financing facility from banks/ financial institutions. Entrepreneurs/ promoters of companies to be debarred from institutional finance for a period of five years from the date the name of the wilful defaulter is published in the list of wilful defaulters by the RBI.
  2. Legal action against borrowers/ guarantors and foreclosure of recovery of dues this includes initiating criminal proceedings against wilful defaulters.
  3. Banks/ financial institution may ask for change in management of the wilfully defaulting unit.
  4. The borrowing company not to induct a person who is a promoter/ director another company which has been identified as a wilful defaulter or take steps to remove such a person from the board of directors.
  5. In case of guarantees/ letter of comfort, where the group companies have provided for guarantee or letter of comfort and the same has been invoked by the bank but not honoured then such group companies will be reckoned as wilful defaulters.

The big picture:

Forex derivatives in India shot up in 2007. The rupee was getting stronger and the dollar was weakening in the aftermath of the US sub-prime crisis. As the demand for derivatives contract shot up during that period, bankers too became aggressive in selling derivatives products. For some months the derivatives transactions remained tempting.

It was only after the dollar started to strengthen the transactions started to bleed. The derivative losses that the Indian corporates suffered went into few thousand crores per year over 2007 to 2010.

The legality of the derivatives were challenged in several cases, first amongst those being case of Rajshree Sugars[2] and many of these cases are on various stages of arbitral and judicial proceedings. Several aspects of derivatives deals have been put to challenge and includes legality of derivatives, fraud and mis-selling, violation of exchange control, whether SARFAESI Act is applicable to derivatives dues of banks, whether a user contesting the bank’s claim is a “wilful defaulter”, and so on.


The present ruling does not resolve the controversy as the present ruling only addresses a minor issue—whether a counterparty to a derivative contract—the company entering into a derivative with a bank is a ‘defaulter’ to a ‘facility’, or is it merely a trading transaction between the two where one of the counterparties may dispute the obligation.


The real heart of the matter—whether banks oversold, missold or illegally sold derivatives to borrowers which were shown to be hedges but actually were not hedges, is yet to be resolved.

[1] Reserve Bank of India on 1st July, 2008 issued a Master Circular on Wilful Defaulters whereby banks and financial institutions were required to report of wilful defaulters to other banks and financial institutions and also provided for the measures to be imposed on such wilful defaulters.




Public Interest Exclusive
Is UID anti-people? –Part 2: A bundle of contradictions, misconceptions & mirages

Government pursuing UID discreetly without answering Parliament or doubts of citizens is leading to the fear that apart from sacrificing the interests of citizens, this humungous scandal when exposed and revealed will have dangerous consequences and unrest amongst people. The plight of those who have given their biometrics and iris to unknown persons will be haunting them forever. This is the second part of a nine-part series on the unique identification number scheme 

It all started as a Unique Identity (UID) for 'residents' of this country in 2009 and later it metamorphosed into a huge scandal in the name of "aam aadmi". 
Initially we only had doubts that had to be clarified but later when delicate queries were hedged is when we all got suspicious and started following the trail.
The entire 'Scheme' (pun intended) is full of contradictions, hidden facts, hedging, disinformation, impracticality, arbitrariness, and what's more, fraught with threat to national security. In the beginning we were wary of making such a charge or allegation and therefore worded our statements suitably. But when we saw the reply to Right to Information (RTI) queries that were rather irresponsible and blatant, we were convinced that something is shy and that the government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) were hiding important information from the citizens. We then started to ask more questions and each time we got a different response for the same question! We became more curious and our research reveals that the government and the UIDAI have deliberately misled the people of this country.
We started to probe and also simultaneously engage in networking with all those who felt that the government should come upfront and explain. We got tremendous support and that too from various quarters that included almost all independent civil society members of the NAC (National Advisory Council) chaired by Sonia Gandhi.
The issues are several and that too of serious implications involving the security of the nation when data is being shared with a foreign country that too doing the same business with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) of Pakistan! Breach of individual privacy, siphoning of huge amount of money from the public exchequer (our taxes) for something we are not quite sure or results not proven. On the contrary, the experience in UK and Australia after pushing it through has been to withdraw and the damage is huge. So can't we learn from others' mistakes? We rely purely on statistics, ground realities and experience to counter all the claims. We have absolutely no hesitation to correct our opinion provided they are convincing and furnished to us straight forward not vaguely as "We should always consider the positives rather than harp on only the negative". Then it becomes a debate.
When we started to approach the authorities we got vague evasive responses sometimes dilatory and also irresponsible. 
We went public and held several workshops, symposiums, seminars and also demonstrations that included faking of IDs by people that too in front of none other than MN Vidyashankar-the principal secretary to Government of Karnataka who played a key role in this enterprise. This was in an open house where some distinguished guests were also invited. He ducked for cover and promised many things only to go smug and silent later on. Even emails continuously sent to him were diverted to others and no proper clarification was available to any of our questions till date. It's a different matter that he was transferred from this post to another sometime ago.  
We had a strange and vivid experience. Initially the Karnataka government authorities were proactive and also participated in interactive sessions. But later they became totally reticent and refused to come to meetings in which we participated. They didn't express this in so many words but gave flimsy reasons of being busy and tied up. 
Some Kannada news channels also told us that they had contacted several top officials and they refused to participate in any debate. So this led to more doubts and wondered why the UIDAI, which boasted of transparency and probity, went into hiding. They couldn't answer tough questions that too with evidence given to them. It became obvious that they were trying to hide many things from the glare of public.
UID was touted as a 'unique' number (not card as many think it to be) and that there would be no other identity needed once this comes into place. But then, when protests started, there was a rider that this is only 'optional' and not mandatory? 
We were told that only basic information is collected. But later the truth started to unfold. Banks started collecting all information under Know Your Customer (KYC) norm that intruded virtually into citizen's privacy. The information sought for had nothing to do with regular banking that too of account holders who were comfortable with their operations for decades. There was no legal sanctity to collect these information but the banks still insisted that they were directed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and that itself is sufficient to collect the information. Some of the banks even threatened to freeze the operative accounts if the details were not furnished. In each of these applications there was a provision for the Aadhaar number. This meant that at some stage by deceit the government will have access to our bank accounts and all transactions if they so wanted. That too without the knowledge or permission of the account holder; obviously the KYC doesn't have a disclaimer to the contrary.
We understand that the UID is linked to 24 databases by various service providers. This is the double speak and contrary to their claim.
When the 'uniqueness' was contested, the UIDAI introduced the biometrics and started with the thumb impression. When this was also contested, UIDAI stated that they would collect the impression of all the 10 fingers and also introduced the iris scan as a defence mechanism. When this was also shown as not foolproof and feasible, they scampered and commenced a "proof of concept" (PoC) study.
It is customary to conduct the proof of concept before the launch of any programme not in between or later. Further such proof of concept study is done end-to-end that is with all key parameters that need to be fulfilled or viability of the project itself. Secondly such survey should be done with proper scientific sampling viz: In the rural and labour intensive part like in this case to really get the correct result but it was not so: the entire fiasco was shrouded with mystery and hopelessly done; obviously the results also were skewed. Ultimately it was an "eye wash" and meant only as routine exercise.
UIDAI's identification results are based on 20,000 people chosen from the 60,000 who attended two biometric enrolment sessions. What do the results for all 60,000 look like? Why were the full results not published? How were the 20,000 chosen? What was wrong with the other 40,000? Why don't UIDAI report the de-duplication statistics for the one million people now enrolled on the CIDR, instead of a paltry 20,000 of them?
How many unique pairs of biometrics can be chosen from 40,000? Answer: 40,000 x 39,999 / 2=799,980,000. If UIDAI are right 40,000 is a number of the order of 104, whereas the number of comparisons which have to be made to prove uniqueness is of the order of 108. The population of India is of course not 40,000. More like 1.2 billion or 1.2x109. So that the number of comparisons between pairs of biometrics that would need to be made to prove uniqueness is 7.2x1017. It would take a very long time but, in a perfect world, those 7.2x1017 comparisons could be performed by computer and it could be proved automatically that there are no duplicates, i.e. each electronic identity is unique. 
In the real world, problems arise. UIDAI says quite rightly that they must expect the odd false positive. In other words, on occasion, it will look as though two people have the same biometrics. There may be hundreds of reasons for that. Here are just four of them: 
1. The equipment used may not be entirely reliable. 
2. An over-worked UIDAI agent may by mistake register Mr Narayana's biometrics against Mr Chandrashekar's name. 
3. Mr Narayana may have naughtily enrolled twice, once in his real name and once in Mr Chandrashekar's name 
4. Mr Narayana and Mr Chandrashekar may genuinely be two different people who happen to have similarly poor biometric quality of their fingerprints and / or iris or the scanner unable to distinguish between the two. 
When a false positive arises, it has to be investigated by a team of human beings. It can't be resolved by computer. How many false positives should India expect? In the results section of their report the UIDAI defines the false positive identification rate (FPIR) and they say "we will look at the point where the FPIR (i.e. the possibility that a person is mistaken to be a different person) is 0.0025%". At that point, UIDAI would get two and a half false positives on average for every 100,000 comparisons. 
Given that the UIDAI have to make 7.2x1017 comparisons, how many false positives should they expect? Answer: (7.2 x1017) x (2.5x10-5) =1.8 x1013. That's 18,000,000,000,000 false positives for people to investigate and resolve. 
Is this acceptable and will it ever happen? To prove uniqueness, every single Indian would have to investigate and to resolve 15,000 false positives. Long before they had finished, many of them would be dead, many more Indians would have been born, and the task would remain incomplete. Using UIDAI's own figures, India can be confident that the proof of uniqueness is not achievable. Not in the real world. 
How many more staff would UIDAI need? How much more would UIDAI have to spend on top quality biometrics equipment to make that improvement? If that is feasible, why didn't the UIDAI Biometrics Centre of Competence (UBCC) say so? Why did UBCC "look at the point where the FPIR. 0.0025 %" and not at the point where it's 1.4x10-12, which is what it would have to be to reduce the number of false positives to one million? 
If the sea-of-false-positives argument above is correct, then biometrics do not provide the foundation needed for UID, the false conclusions drawn by UBCC in the proof of concept trial report impugn everyone's trust in UIDAI and no-one can be confident that the benefits of UID will ever be achieved. 
Presumably the proof of concept trial report is the work of UBCC. They have to say why the sea-of-false-positives argument is wrong, if they can. And here are more questions which could do with a response from them: 
a) Over the years, the suppliers of biometric technology have been caught out repeatedly making exaggerated claims for the reliability of their wares. Their marketing material is now a little less gung-ho. UIDAI's suppliers, L-1 Identity Solutions Inc and Morpho among others; do not claim on their websites to be able to deliver unique identification in the case of large population registers. Given the sea of false positives, how could they? So why does the UIDAI claim to be able to deliver unique identification? It's easy to see why the suppliers don't object to being boosted in this way. But why does the UIDAI provide this unsolicited testimonial to the historically flaky products of the mass consumer biometrics industry? Is a field trial of 20,000 big enough to tell India what to expect when it comes to 1.2 billion people? 
b) Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the body representing 1,800 business schools in 110 countries, dropped fingerprinting as a way of verifying identity after a two-year trial. If the business schools don't recommend the technology, why does UIDAI recommend it?
c) Why don't Visa and MasterCard rely on biometrically verified payments anywhere in Europe and the US? If they're not good enough for Europe and the US, why should they be acceptable in India? 
As it happens, the UK made the same mistake. For years, between 2002 and 2010, the Home Office was in the undignified position of being quite unable to answer probing questions, whether posed by critics or supporters, about their UK ID card scheme. The facts simply don't support the claims the Home Office was making-see for example their document 'Safeguarding identity'-about being able to 'lock' people to a single identity and their fatuous promise that ID cards would "make life easier". 
Public money was wasted on a pipe dream. There were many problems with the UK scheme. Not just biometrics. But biometrics is the easiest problem to understand and to discuss objectively and on which to reach an agreed decision, it's quantifiable, there are no difficult value judgments to make, it's just technology. And not a very good technology-whenever there is a large-scale field trial, as opposed to the mere computer modelling exercises favoured by NIST, mass consumer biometrics prove to be too unreliable for the ID card schemes that depend on them. By the time the stillborn scheme was finally cancelled, the Home Office had lost all credibility, it was totally demoralised and it is now excluded from discussions of the UK's new, and still unspecified, Digital Delivery Identity Assurance project. 
Further the UIDAI collected 15 Identities that already exist viz: Passport, EPIC and Ration Cards. Therefore they couldn't claim it to be Unique. Whereas all these identities were provided only after eligibility criteria was fulfilled and with verification in each case to genuine citizens as per the provisions of the Citizenship Act. 
Thus the claim of it being 'unique' slowly gave way to the National Identity and became just another number, not card, which many confuse it to be. That is why it is the NIA Bill 2010 (National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010).
In order hasten the enrolment process incentives were given to even private enrolling agencies to mobilize applications. The floodgates were open. 
MOUs (memorandums of understanding) were entered with several government departments and banks as well as private agencies such as travel agents, stock brokers and even dubious institutions. Nearly 209 such operators were allowed and when we analysed the selection of such agents it gave rise to more doubts and suspicion. Some didn't even have the domain knowledge or experience to collect such vital information from people. 
It was astounding to know that such a valuable and precious data of citizens was handled in a haphazard way. Our doubts came true. Several bloomers and goof-ups surfaced. 
Some TV channels also went on an overdrive and exposed the unscrupulous methods and also corruption. A person languishing in Bengaluru prison, Ali got his UID number from Mysore without even visiting the place! 
We sent the media clipping to MN Vidyashankar for his comments, he immediately responded saying the culprits were arrested and FIR had been led. "This was just an aberration," he said. Without doubting his statement, we only asked some more questions which he didn't anticipate. He gave excuses and later after persuasive mails he passed it on to his subordinates to respond. Ultimately we never got any convincing fact or particulars that we sought from him. True, a FIR was led. Is that all? What about internal departmental investigations to find out the lacunae in the system and processes in order to prevent such fake IDs? No information was forthcoming on such questions.
We have vivid stories from our media friends who took up the issue and started to support us. Their experience was no better than ours. Media seems to have been strangely silenced. 
The Parliamentary Standing Committee examined all these aspects and also summoned the authorities for various clarifications. In a near unanimous decision they came to the conclusion that it is directionless and ill conceived. (Relevant to mention that there were only a couple of dissenting notes and these were not on the merits of the case, but extraneous political affiliations and compulsions and posturing) The report was submitted to Parliament for further deliberations. It is also very pertinent to note that the report deals with invasion of privacy and declares that unless there is a law that protects privacy, this can't be introduced. 
But the temerity and audacity with which the authorities are bypassing this report and still continuing to perpetuate the fraud is beyond anybody's imagination. Definitely it leads to the belief that there are some other extraneous considerations and also "hidden hand" that is continuing to perpetuate this programme for their own ulterior motives. Hence it has to be resisted tooth and nail.
Unfortunately we are still not a developed country that can afford this extravaganza and write off huge wasteful expenditure that has no guarantee of success on any basis. 
Government pursuing this discreetly without answering Parliament or doubts of citizens is leading to the fear that apart from sacrificing the interests of citizens, this humungous scandal when exposed and revealed will have dangerous consequences and unrest amongst people. The plight of those who have given their biometrics and iris to unknown persons will be haunting them forever. 
They have to live in the shadow of the "ghost that is hidden" and may strike in any form and from anywhere will linger in their minds forever!
Read the first part of the series here:

Is UID anti-people? The database state –Part1

(VK Somasekhar is active in civil society movements having distinguished in fighting for causes on environment, consumer movement and also civic issues. He is a triple graduate with post-graduation in Law as well as Diploma in Journalism, Diploma in Foreign Trade Management. He was also the president (vertical head) of a media entertainment company. He is also the managing trustee of Grahak Shakti, a voluntary Consumer Organisation of standing for over three decades now. A prolific freelance writer with accreditation by the state government and also appears on current issues on various news channels regularly both in vernacular and English media.) 




5 years ago

1.The plight of those who have given their biometrics and iris to unknown persons will be haunting them forever.

2.They have to live in the shadow of the "ghost that is hidden" and may strike in any form and from anywhere will linger in their minds forever!

can u please explain. i have given finger prints and iris for National Population Register but i don,t see how my finger prints and iris can be misused.
as regards to Bank account details law is clear then Banks have to provide complete transaction details when the information is sought by Tax authorities and law enforcing agencies . i find there are few like Somashekar who try to create mountain out of mustard


Bikram Duggal

In Reply to TIHARwale 5 years ago

Instead of yapping against Mr Somashekar, who btw is trying his best to fight for everyone, you will be better advised to go on the net to further educate yourself. If you don't want to and instead choose to believe everything that is put in front of you then...
Aother free helping for you- Read this article and hopefully it will goad you into reading and educating yourself a wee bit more! Also dont forget to read 1984 - a novel by George Orwell. Hope you wake up!

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