Aadhaar for LPG: Mess created by UIDAI, OMCs and citizen victims-Part 1

Several people who have linked their Aadhaar with LPG distribution are either not receiving subsidy on time or not receiving the SMS. On the other hand, some people are receiving multiple SMS with different customer IDs about LPG refill and subsidy not related with them


The Supreme Court on 23 September 2013, in an interim order, directed that “no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card in spite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory.”

 

However, despite this clear ruling, state-run oil marketing companies (OMC), like the Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) are enforcing citizens to compel with the UID/Aadhaar requirement. This is not only causing troubles to citizens but lakhs of them are facing hardship due to the forceful implementation of Aadhaar for cooking gas (LPG).

 

And this is not limited to people who have not submitted their Aadhaar. Several consumers, who have enrolled and submitted their Aadhaar to the LPG distributor, are either not receiving the subsidy on time or not receiving any SMS. On the other hand, several people are receiving SMS about the LPG refill booking, cash memo and delivery, for a consumer number that is not theirs.

 

For example, I have neither enrolled for the Aadhaar nor I have linked my bank account with any UID number. Yet, I continue to receive SMS from my OMC giving details, about subsidy being deposited into a bank account that does not belong to me. Despite complaining to the OMC and LPG distributor, there is no action to delink my mobile number from the other consumer.


One of the readers of Moneylife, has been receiving SMS from OMC for three-four different consumer numbers. That too, when he has not received his own subsidy for the LPG refill in his own bank account. See the image below, the reader received SMS about booking of a LPG refill. Next message says ‘cash memo no165409 prepared on 27.12.2013 for Rs1044.50’ and his refill will be delivered shortly. The very next message (for the same booking number) says ‘subsidized cash memo 167664 dt 03.01.14 for Rs1273.5 prepared and the refill will be delivered shortly’. Then suddenly on 18th January, he received an SMS stating that his ‘booking no265829 is cancelled!’ (see the image below)


There are two things wrong in these messages. One, the consumer number does not belong to the reader and second, he is still waiting for his rightful delivery of LPG refill since more than 20 days. Interestingly, he still has to get the subsidy for his last refill and the distributor had told him that he would receive it in next 10-12 days.

 

Several readers of Moneylife have complained about threats being received from their LPG distributors for submitting the UID/Aadhaar number. All the distributors are using the one line threat, "You will not get any subsidy, if you do not provide your Aadhaar and link it to your bank account."

 

Even the social media is full of people who are having a tough time due to Aadhaar linkage with LPG refill and subsidy. Here is one such tweet that shows the mess of Aadhaar, LPG refill booking and direct benefit transfer (DBTL) scheme. The person has received subsidy through DBTL in his bank account without him booking the LPG refill!

 

 

Meanwhile, the OMC continue to send SMS asking people to submit their Aadhaar number to LPG distributor and link it with their bank account.

 

This is not only illegal but also can be construed as contempt of court. Under Article 141 of the Constitution of India, "the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all Courts within the territory of India." To declare means to announce opinion. Thus the law declared by the Supreme Court is the law of the land. It is a precedent for itself and for all Courts, Tribunals and authorities in India (Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra (2002) 4 SCC 388). 

 

Following the interim order from the apex court, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) filed an ‘Application for clarification/ modification of order dated 23 September 2013. The Supreme Court, however, simply refused to do so. On 26th November, the Supreme Court said, its 23rd September order remains unmodified. Yet, HPCL, BPCL and IOC and their distributors continue to harass customers under the name of Aadhaar.

 

This is despite, the Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), maintaining its UID or Aadhaar is 'free and voluntary' and is meant for 'residents'.

 

The Supreme Court is likely to hear the matter on 28 January 2014 and take these ‘welfare agencies’ and the concerned ministries to task.

 

(This is the first part of two part series. The second part describes steps needed to be taken by customers harassed by the OMCs for LPG refill and subsidy)

 

You may also want to read…

Aadhaar for LPG: How you can get justice? –Part2

 

The Prime Minister’s Fingerprints: Aadhaar and the garrotting of civil liberties
 

Aadhaar for LPG: Oil companies, Ministry of Petroleum & UIDAI disobeying Supreme Court order–Part XXII

 

  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User 

    COMMENTS

    arabinda sen

    6 years ago

    Indane consumer No. 4306 from West Bengal. I enrolled my aadhar No. for DBTL in compliance of Govt notifications. And now I repent my act as I am not receiving subsidy in my accredited bank a/c. I got supply of my last refill purchaed at market price on 5.2.14. And now as on 5.3.14 I have not received my eligible subsidy. Complaint lodged with Indanes' Transparency Portal yeilded no result.

    JR

    6 years ago

    SIMPLE COMMON SENSE DOES NOT EXIST WITH THE UPA GOVT. FOR 50 YRS. OF INTOXICATED POWER!

    IT IS A SIMPLE ARITHMATIC OF 2ND GRADE! FIRST 9 OR 12 CYLINDERS FOR ALL CONSUMERS UNDER THOSE NOS. WHICH ARE BILLED OFFICIALLY BY ALL LPG COS.& DISTRIBUTORS IN A YEAR CAN EASILY PROGRAM THEIR SYSTEMS SUCH THAT THOSE FIRST 9 OR 12 CYLINDERS ARE AT SUBSIDIZED RATES & IF AT ALL MORE, RAREST OF RARE, CAN BE SUPPLEIED AT A HIGHER RATE. THIS DOES NOT REQUIRE A STUPID NATIONAL EXERCISE WASTING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE'S PRECIOUS TIME, EFFORT, MONEY & WASTE OF PAPER, POWER, ENERGY TO DO SUCH A MUNDANELY STUPID EXERCISE!

    BUT BRAINS ARE A PREMIUM COMMODITY WITH GOVT. OF THE DAY WHO HAVE CREATED A NONSENSE OF AN ENTIRE NATION & ALL THE SYSTEMS.

    Nilesh Mehta

    6 years ago

    Hi

    This is Shashikant Mehta.

    I have the same problem i got 2 msg regarding the amount credited to my account but no such amount has been credited in my bank, how can i now cross check as the gas distributor is completely blank on it............please suggest me.

    Shashikant

    REPLY

    MDT

    In Reply to Nilesh Mehta 6 years ago

    Thanks for your comment.
    Would request you to check the second part of this series, which gives details about getting justice. In your case, it would be apt for you to file complaint with your distributor, OMC and send copies to the Supreme Court and Oil Ministry. You can also file complaint online with your OMC and follow it with an RTI.

    Harish

    6 years ago

    Relevant organizations should bring Stay Order on DBT to bank account in case of LPG subsidy for all Citizens of India.

    Maximum they can link Aadhaar for additional ID record after verifying correctness in LPG book issued to Customer.

    KAVIRAJ B PATIL

    6 years ago

    This is easily the most audacious disrespect of the Supreme Court. The order is simple and straightforward and yet, for reasons best known to them, derive sadistic pleasure by making things complicated.

    How Congress has been proven wrong on biometric Aadhaar and NPR -Part 24

    Has 'the right to identity' aka Aadhaar, as claimed by Rahul Gandhi, been bestowed on all the members of Congress Working Committee and AICC? It has been almost five years. When will these people claim their manufactured 'right to identity'?

    Deliberations and speeches on 17 January 2014 at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting revealed that leaders of Indian National Congress (Congress) and their donors are admittedly afraid of Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Congress leader and prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh confessed that infrastructure projects are held up because CAG and CVC have raised questions. Notably, these projects include public information infrastructure which is the universal set of which unique identification (UID) and Aadhaar is a subset. In her speech at the AICC meeting, Sonia Gandhi, Congress president said, “The Aadhaar initiative, “Aap ka paisa, Aap ke haath”, has been launched in many districts. When fully operational, it will ensure the elimination of the corruption that people experience in their daily lives, especially in the delivery of subsidies, pensions, wages and other government benefits.”
     

    This Seventy Seventh Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance reveals that there is reason for the promoters of Aadhaar to be afraid of CAG and CVC. The deals with the action taken by the government on the recommendations contained in the Sixty Ninth Report of the Committee (Fifteenth Lok Sabha) that was presented to Lok Sabha and laid in Rajya Sabha on 22 April 2013. The PSC report disapproves of the grievance redressal mechanism of the UIDAI. “The Committee is dissatisfied to note that the action taken reply is elusive on the number and nature of complaints received regarding issue of Aadhaar cards.”
    Irregularities committed by the illegal UIDAI has been dealt with from page numbered 11 to 14 of this Report of the 31 member Parliamentary Committee on action taken by government on the recommendations contained in the Sixty Ninth Report of the Committee (Fifteenth Lok Sabha) on Demands for Grants (2013-14) of the Ministry of Planning.
     

    The PSC notes that “out of 60 crore residents to be enrolled by UIDAI by March 2014...While the details regarding number of Aadhaar cards generated has been furnished, the reply (of the government) is silent as regard to the number of cards issued.” The report notes that replies indicating action taken on all the recommendations contained in the report were furnished by the government on 22 July 2013.
     

    The PSC report observes, “the total budgetary allocations made for UIDAI since its inception up to Budget Estimates (BE) 2013-14 is Rs5,440.30 crore, out of which Rs2,820.30 crore has been utilised up to 31 March 2013 and the remaining amount of Rs2,620 crore has been allocated in BE 2013-14. The Ministry has informed that the average cost per card is estimated to range from Rs100 to Rs157. Taking the average cost per card to be Rs130, the total expenditure for issue of 60 crore cards is estimated to about Rs7,800 crore. Thus, the expected requirement of funds during 2013-14 is Rs4,979.70 crore, whereas only Rs2,620 crore has been kept for BE 2013-14, which is thus grossly inadequate. Given the tardy progress in enrollment/ generation of Aadhaar cards, being done without legislative approval, it is doubtful that UIDAI could achieve the targets envisaged during 2013-14. The committee is constrained to observe a disturbing approach in the budgetary exercise of the Ministry by fixing inflated targets without commensurate budgetary allocations. The committee would, therefore, expect the government to review enrolment progress/funds requirement and project realistic requirement of the funds after legislative approval.”

    In his speech at the AICC meeting, Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice president claimed that “We have also created the right to identity so that your money reaches you directly. It is the largest anti-corruption platform that anyone has ever built. It will enable people to get their benefits and entitlements without paying bribe.”
     

    The claim about creating “the right to identity” to Indians alluding to biometric identification is astoundingly bizarre. Disregarding public resistance to national ID cards for creating an inventory of citizens world over, Rahul Gandhi’s advocacy for it reveals his identity as a threat to civil and political rights.  Will he explain as to why Great Britain has scrapped its ID card program and National Identification Registry? Why it has been abandoned in the US, Canada, China, France and Japan?
     

    The factual inaccuracy of the proposition for the creation of “the right to identity can easily be understood if one examines as to whether or not Sonia Gandhi has been bestowed “the right to identity” or not? It may be recalled that although the attached electoral rolls (see the image below) revealed that Sonia Gandhi's name featured the electoral rolls of 1980, the fact was/is that she was not a citizen of India at least till 1983.  She gained the identity of an Indian citizen quite later by naturalisation as provided for under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 when Section 5 (c) was inserted in the Citizenship Act, 1955, through an amendment. The inserted section enabled her, as a foreign spouse marrying an Indian citizen to acquire Indian citizenship by registration, if he or she has resided in India for five years at the time of applying.

     

    Section 5 of The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for citizenship by registration which reads “Subject to the provisions of this section and such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, the prescribed authority may, on application made in this behalf, register as a citizen of India any person who is not already such citizen by virtue of the constitution or by virtue of any of the other provisions of this Act” and belongs to any of the categories like [persons who are, or have been, married to citizens of India and are ordinarily resident in India and have been so resident for five years immediately before making an application for registration].  Section 6 of The Citizenship Act provides for citizenship by naturalisation, which reads, “Where an application is made in the prescribed manner by any person of full age and capacity who is not a citizen of a country specified in the First Schedule for the grant of a certificate of naturalisation to him, the central government may, if satisfied that the applicant is qualified for naturalisation under the provisions of the Third Schedule, grant to him a certificate of naturalisation—provided that, if in the opinion of the central government, the applicant is a person who has rendered distinguished service to the cause of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress generally, it may waive all or any of the conditions specified in the Third Schedule” of the Act.
     

    The fact is that “right to identity” in India is conferred on Sonia Gandhi due to Section 5 of the Act that provides for citizenship by registration which was inserted in July 1987.  It is reported that she became citizen of India on 30 April 1983 at the age of 37. She was born on 9 December 1946 in Lusiana, Veneto, Italy and was most likely an Italian citizen till then. Rahul Gandhi was born on 19 June 1970. The right to identity is conferred by Citizenship Act and not by Congress party as is being claimed. 
     

    The resolution adopted at the AICC meeting reads, “The Indian National Congress also believes that fighting corruption requires a fundamental transformation in our service delivery structures. The ‘Aapka Paisa, Aapke Haath' initiative of the UPA government, backed by the unique identity number Aadhaar, which will ensure that benefits of government schemes reach the people directly, on time and at their doorstep, eliminating corruption and leakages, is a major step in this direction. The Congress is deeply committed to ensuring the full rollout and effective implementation of this programme across the country, while ensuring that no one is excluded in the transition and no hardship is caused in the initiate stage.”
     

    Has “the right to identity” been bestowed on all the members of Congress Working Committee and AICC? It has been almost five years. When will these people claim their manufactured “right to identity”?
     

    In the book Identifying Citizens: ID Cards as Surveillance, by David Lyon of Queen's University, Ontario, Canada points out the role of cartels of identity card promoters in its proliferation. 
     

    The resolution states, “The Congress Party has, since the time of Pandit Nehru, championed the role of science and technology in India's development. Rajivji (Rajiv Gandhi) conceptualised and brought in the IT and telecom revolution to India. In the 21st century, the importance of knowledge and innovation in India's development is critical, and the Congress party is committed to making India the world's foremost knowledge economy of this century. The National Knowledge Network that connects all major universities and colleges in India with high-speed internet, the National Optical Fibre Network that is in the process of connecting all 250,000 Panchayats with broadband internet connectivity, the Aadhaar initiative, and several e-governance initiatives started by the Congress-led UPA government have set the foundations for this. We remain committed to accelerating the implementation of these initiatives to transform the lives of all Indians.”
     

    It is good that the resolution remembered Nehru. In her book ‘The Pivot of Civilization’, Margaret Sanger, who visited and influenced Nehru, advocated coercion to prevent the "undeniably feeble-minded" from procreating. A Nehru headed sub-committee of the Congress resolved in 1938: "The State should follow a eugenic programme to make the race physically and mentally healthy.” (Eugenic (from Greek eu, meaning ‘good/well’, and -gen─ôs, meaning ‘born’) is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population.)
     

    Opponents of eugenics like Abraham Myerso, neurologist and psychiatrist argued that “There are fine people springing from the most unlikely parents, and the finest parents may bring forth the wildest and most inadequate progeny." They rightly argued that is/eugenics was a pseudoscience fraught with racist agendas.  Now Eugenics and its genetic determinism of identity stands discredited. Rahul Gandhi’s advocacy for “Right to Identity based on biometric data” is as regressive as the eugenic programmes.  
     

    In an official statement on 5 November 2013, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) said, “What is shocking to citizens is that merely a month ago on 23 September 2013, the Supreme Court of India passed a verdict in response to a PIL seeking a stay on the implementation of the UID/Aadhaar Scheme, stating that enrollment under the Aadhaar scheme is completely voluntary and not necessary to avail essential government services. The UIDAI along with the oil PSUs and the government have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on 15 October 2013 BUT the SC has NOT reviewed its earlier verdict yet. Hence, the current notification by the Petroleum Ministry is completely illegal and in total violation of the SC’s verdict.
     

    Trinamool Congress states, “It is necessary to review the history of the Aadhaar programme in the context of the card not having a mandate for universal coverage in India. Aadhaar/UID was set up in July 2009, but by late 2011 the Home Ministry expressed serious reservations that the enrolment process was not as foolproof as the National Population Registry (NPR), a mandatory register under the Home ministry, which enrolled citizens using a strict house-to-house canvassing method involving community verification. In December 2011, a 31-member Parliamentary Committee categorically rejected the National Identification Authority of India Bill, the proposed law under which UIDAI and Aadhaar were to function…In a country like ours where illiteracy is rampant and the average citizen is already burdened with different cards for different purposes- voter ID card, PAN card, BPL card – another card only serves to burden the common citizen.”
     

    Lambasting Dr Manmohan Singh government, Trinamool Congress said, “This government is cracking joke after joke at the expense of the poor…The All India Trinamool Congress demands that the government fully complies with the verdict of the Supreme Court immediately and withdraws this notification.”
     

    But under the influence of likes of Sam Pitroda who seems to have fathered the entire identification and tagging exercise even Trinamool Congress is steering clear demanding abandonment of the scheme in totality as has been done in several countries to safeguard civil rights.   
     

    It is reliably learnt that after West Bengal Assembly passed a resolution against biometric Aadhaar number, people are getting notices from the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner (ORG&CC), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India through municipalities asking them to mandatorily enroll for biometric National Population Register (NPR) for Aadhaar number.
     

    This exposes the deceptiveness involved in the entire exercise because as per ORG&CCI only 17 states and two Union Territories of India are to be covered under NPR and West Bengal is not included. The rest of the states and union territories are being covered under biometric Aadhaar. The fact is both the Centralised ID Repository (CIDR) of biometric Aadhaar number and NPR which also generates Aadhaar number is essentially the same because both the databases are being converged as per design.
     

    The reply of Rajeev Shukla, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning in the Parliament in this regard is misleading. On 14 August 2013, he informed, “The purposes of UIDAI and NPR are different.”
     

    Shukla added that steps have been taken with a view to eliminating overlap. These setups included enrolment by UIDAI has been limited to 60 crore residents in the States/UTs listed for the time being, when a person while enrolling for NPR indicates he/she is already enrolled for Aadhaar by UIDAI, the biometric data is not to be captured by NPR. Instead the Aadhaar number/enrolment number is recorded by NPR and the biometric data can be sourced from the UIDAI, Aadhaar numbers are generated for all residents who enroll with NPR thus obviating the need for such residents to re-enroll with the UIDAI and an inter-ministerial coordination committee has been constituted to ensure smooth implementation of enrolment by NPR and UIDAI. The reply given in response to questions by members of Parliament (MPs), Sajjan Singh Verma and Syed Shahnawaz Hussain is actually a confirmation of the inbuilt convergence and overlapping.
     

    The States covered under NPR include:
     

    (1) Arunachal Pradesh;

    (2) Assam;

    (3) Bihar;

    (4) Chhattisgarh;

    (5) Haryana;

    (6) Himachal Pradesh;

    (7) Jammu & Kashmir;

    (8) Jharkhand;

    (9) Madhya Pradesh;

    (10) Meghalaya;

    (11) Mizoram;

    (12) Punjab;

    (13) Rajasthan;

    (14) Sikkim;

    (15) Tripura;

    (16) Uttar Pradesh;

    (17) Uttarakhand.

     

    The Union Territories covered under it include Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh.

        

    In the meanwhile, it has been reported that the Congress Core Committee at the AICC meeting has recommended that Aadhaar should not be made mandatory for LPG subsidy. Is it acting compliance with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee “particularly in the light of recent judgement of the Supreme Court mentioning that no person should suffer for not possessing the Aadhaar card”? The government must in the meantime issue instructions to state governments and to all other authorities that it should not be made mandatory for any purpose. The fact is that Congress and most political parties who are avoiding to take a clear political position demanding scrapping of the biometric identification exercise are speaking with forked tongue. Hasn’t such stance been engineered under influence of donations to the tune of 7.5 % of annual profit of the companies under the new Companies Act, 2013?  

    You may also want to read…

     

    Why biometric identification of citizens must be resisted? Part I
     

    Biometric identification is modern day enslavement -Part II
     

    Biometric profiling, including DNA, is dehumanising -Part III
     

    Marketing and advertising blitzkrieg of biometric techies and supporters -Part IV
     

    History of technologies reveals it is their owners who are true beneficiaries -Part V
     

    UID's promise of service delivery to poor hides IT, biometrics industry profits –Part VI
     

    Technologies and technology companies are beyond regulation? -Part VII
     

    Surveillance through biometrics-based Aadhaar –Part VIII
     

    Narendra Modi biometrically profiled. What about Congress leaders?-Part IX
     

    Aadhaar: Why opposition ruled states are playing partner for biometric UID? -Part X

     

    Is Nandan Nilekani acting as an agent of non-state actors? –Part XI

     

    Aadhaar and UPA govt's obsession for private sector benefits–Part XII
     

    CIA-funded MongoDB partners with UIDAI to handle Aadhaar data –Part XIII

     

    Are Indians being used as guinea pigs of biometric technology companies? -Part XIV
     

    Aadhaar: Is the biometric data of human body immortal and ageless? Part XV
     

    Aadhaar: The propaganda of transnational vested interests –Part XVI

     

    Aadhaar: Pakistan handed over, India giving database on a platter– Part XVII
     

    Engineered row in US-India relations, an attention diversion tactics of big brothers?—Part XVIII

     

    Aadhaar: UIDAI and the ‘fifth column’ of Napoleon—Part XIX
     

    Aadhaar: Turning citizens into subjects through social control technology companies –PartXX

     

    Why Kejriwal govt in Delhi should abandon biometric Aadhaar?—Part XXI

     

    Aadhaar for LPG: Oil companies, Ministry of Petroleum & UIDAI disobeying Supreme Court order–Part XXII

     

    Why Vasundhara Raje should immediately withdraw circulars making Aadhaar mandatory -Part XXIII

     

    (Gopal Krishna is member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which is campaigning against surveillance technologies since 2010)

  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User 

    Why Vasundhara Raje should immediately withdraw circulars making Aadhaar mandatory -Part 23

    Ashok Gehlot government’s submission to the Supreme Court, just before vacating the office, not only dismisses fundamental rights of Indian citizens but also questions powers of the apex court. That too when several experiments in Rajasthan had revealed the failure of Aadhaar-based systems

    “If once people become inattentive to the public affairs, “you and I, Congress and Assemblies, judges and Governors shall become wolves.”
     

    -Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of USA in a letter, 16 January, 1787 
     

    “The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.”
     

    -Thomas Jefferson in a letter, 13 November, 1787
     

    Commenting on Aadhaar-based cash transfers, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, Shankar Singh of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan had prophetically said, “You transfer cash, we’ll transfer our votes.” The voters transferred the votes from Congress to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Out of the 49 assembly constituencies where direct benefits transfer (DBT) implemented, the Congress could win only three, while BJP won 39. This is a verdict against Aadhaar-linked programs of the Congress party. BJP cannot afford to delay announcement of its abolition. It should unsign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) the state governments signed with illegal and illegitimate Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) headed by Congressman Nandan Nilekani.   
     

    So far Rajasthan is the only state, which has filed its affidavit in the matter of biometric Aadhaar number in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order of 26 November 2013 seeking affidavits from all the states. Vasundhara Raje Scindia assumed the office as the 24th  chief minister of Rajasthan on 13 December 2013 defeating Ashok Gehlot of Indian National Congress (Congress). It was unethical and inappropriate for the Gehlot government to have filed the affidavit in the matter on 5 December 2013 knowing instead of waiting for the new chief minister to take over. All the citizens of 33 districts of the state await Raje’s intervention to save them from the harassment caused to them due to the implementation of illegal and illegitimate biometric Aadhaar number scheme.
     

    In its preliminary reply filed by Dr Hansraj Yadav, additional director (UID), Department of DoT&C, Government of Rajasthan under the regime of Congress in the matter of Aruna Roy Vs Union of India, which attached Justice Puttaswamy’s petition against biometric Aadhaar, submitted, “The State of Rajasthan is unambiguously in favour of implementation of Aadhaar Scheme. In fact, if Aadhaar Scheme as conceived and contemplated is implemented throughout the country then every resident shall have a unique identification number (UID) and which shall have obvious positive impact. Therefore, one cannot find fault with overarching scheme which postulates a unique identification number for every resident of the country.” 
     

    The affidavit submits, “The biometric science would only identify the concerned person and it is only for identification of person. Thus, use of aforesaid information cannot be termed as Invasion of Privacy and adequate care has been taken that the data collected during the preparation of Aadhaar Card does not come in public domain.” 
     

    It is not clear as to how this “obvious” inference has been arrived at. 
     

    But when one reads what this affidavit argues about the powers of the Supreme Court then it becomes abundantly clear that it is not only dismissing the fundamental rights of citizens but also the powers of the Court. It submits, “It is most respectfully submitted that the Court has very limited powers of judicial review to examine a policy decision.” This argument will have us believe that court has limited powers and the government has unlimited powers.
     

    On the issue of “Lack of competence of Executive to implement Aadhaar Scheme in absence of legislation or when legislation is being contemplated by the Parliament”, it submits that “The executive power is only fettered by the fact that it should not be inconsistent with any law made by the Parliament or which contravenes the fundamental rights of the resident. In the present matter, the Union of India had the legislative competence to enact law and therefore shall proprio vigora have requisite executive power.”  The Latin phrase PROPRIO VIGORE means by its own force or vigor or of one’s own strength. This proposition in the affidavit is absurd and the phrase in question has been used in an inappropriate context. The fact is that Government of India can introduce the Bill in the Parliament and propose the law but it does not mean it has “the legislative competence to enact law”, the competence for enactment of law lies with the legislature
     

    The affidavit is deliberate creating ambiguity about the involvement of private agencies and confines itself to the agencies involved in the distribution of Aadhaar. It feigns ignorance about involvement of transnational identification technology companies who admittedly work with foreign intelligence agencies.
     

    The Gehlot government had issued a circular on 17 October 2012 to  all the residents of Rajasthan including government servants to get enrolled for Aadhaar. Field visits in Rajasthan in February 2013 revealed that two months after the roll out in 20 pilot districts, the total amount of money transferred nationally was only Rs5.5 crore through the Aadhaar-based payment network. In Ajmer, out of some 20,000 potential beneficiaries, only some 220 beneficiaries received money in the bank through the biometric Aadhaar. Even this money was not through a biometric identification, illustrating how it was a failure. In the Janani Suraksha Yojna, out of some 1400, only 139 women who delivered children in the hospital received money in the bank through Aadhaar sans biometrics.
     

    The experiment in Kotkasim, Alwar district, Rajasthan brought to light the fact that the crash in sale of kerosene happened because many ration card holders did not have bank accounts but financial newspapers reported that the sale dropped because leakage has been plugged based on District Collector’s report. The fact was since the subsidy could not be reimbursed to many ration card holders, they were compelled to stop buying kerosene. The banks are located far away adding to the villagers having to incur transport expenses. If such experiments continue even the existing system will collapse as people are being driven out from it. It is not about the “bogey of non-access to public services”, these experiments reveals that the Aadhaar based system is not working.
     

    The Congress-led Rajasthan government had linked 10-key schemes to the Aadhaar unique identification programme making it compulsory for arms license, old-age, widow and differently-abled pension schemes, rural job cards, ration cards, driving license, property registration, water and electricity connections, Indira Awas Yojna and student scholarships.
     

    The affidavit observes, “since Aadhaar number corresponds to a unique record, therefore, tagged to a unique individual, merely introduction of Aadhaar in the beneficiary database ensures detection of a large number of duplicates.”
     

    The fact is that there is no evidence about the extent of the leakage due to duplicates. The paper done by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy at the behest of UIDAI is an exercise in assumptions because the authors themselves admit that their data is outdated and in some aspects the data is not available. This is admittedly not an independent study as was claimed by Nilekani in April 2013 in Washington. The biometrics collected for “de-duplicating” all the residents of Rajasthan is an improbable task because the December 2009 report of UIDAI’s committee on biometrics revealed that in its sample of 25,000 people, 2-5% did not have biometric records. It is estimated that approximately 5% of any population has unreadable fingerprints, either due to scars or aging or illegible prints. In the Indian environment, experience has shown that the failure to enroll is as high as 15%  due to the prevalence of a huge population dependent on manual labour, according to RS Sharma, the then director general and mission director, UIDAI. When as many as 15% fail to enroll, how does “Aadhaar in the beneficiary database ensures detection of a large number of duplicates”?
     

    The affidavit submits, “It is equally a sedimented proposition of law that possibility of misuse or even some aberrations whilst implementation or enforcement of a policy decision would not invalidate a scheme or policy decision.” Similar indefensible arguments have been advanced by Congress-led union government in the matters of coal block allocation and 2G spectrum allocation. It has been admitted by the government that Court can intervene if “the policy decision is patently arbitrary, discriminatory or mala fide”. There is sufficient evidence to infer that decisions regarding Aadhaar and related schemes are ‘patently arbitrary, discriminatory or mala fide’. It is arbitrary because there was no feasibility study and no cost-benefit analysis that preceded their launch.
     

    In response to a question in the Lok Sabha: "whether any pre-feasibility study or cost benefit analysis was done before the notification for creation of UIDAI was issued on 28 January 2009;  if so, the details thereof," V Narayanaswamy, as minister of planning, replied on 18 August 2010 that "An Empowered Group of Ministers which was constituted in December 2006 .... decided that a Unique Identification Authority of India be constituted under the Planning Commission and be made responsible for implementing the project which would aim at better targeting of welfare services, improving efficiency of the services and better governance.  The benefits accruing out of the project should far outweigh the cost of the project." It did not undertake the cost-benefit analysis and this was underlined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in its report. It is mala fide because it has not disclosed to Indians that the biometric profiling under Aadhaar is linked to National Population Register (NPR), which in turn is related to National Intelligence Grid.      
     

    The new government in Rajasthan should immediately withdraw this circular issued by CK Mathew, the chief secretary in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to tide over the sad legacy of the Congress government. 
     

    You may also want to read…

     

    Why biometric identification of citizens must be resisted? Part I
     

    Biometric identification is modern day enslavement -Part II
     

    Biometric profiling, including DNA, is dehumanising -Part III
     

    Marketing and advertising blitzkrieg of biometric techies and supporters -Part IV
     

    History of technologies reveals it is their owners who are true beneficiaries -Part V
     

    UID's promise of service delivery to poor hides IT, biometrics industry profits –Part VI
     

    Technologies and technology companies are beyond regulation? -Part VII
     

    Surveillance through biometrics-based Aadhaar –Part VIII
     

    Narendra Modi biometrically profiled. What about Congress leaders?-Part IX
     

    Aadhaar: Why opposition ruled states are playing partner for biometric UID? -Part X

     

    Is Nandan Nilekani acting as an agent of non-state actors? –Part XI

     

    Aadhaar and UPA govt's obsession for private sector benefits–Part XII
     

    CIA-funded MongoDB partners with UIDAI to handle Aadhaar data –Part XIII

     

    Are Indians being used as guinea pigs of biometric technology companies? -Part XIV
     

    Aadhaar: Is the biometric data of human body immortal and ageless? Part XV
     

    Aadhaar: The propaganda of transnational vested interests –Part XVI

     

    Aadhaar: Pakistan handed over, India giving database on a platter– Part XVII
     

    Engineered row in US-India relations, an attention diversion tactics of big brothers?—Part XVIII

     

    Aadhaar: UIDAI and the ‘fifth column’ of Napoleon—Part XIX
     

    Aadhaar: Turning citizens into subjects through social control technology companies –PartXX

     

    Why Kejriwal govt in Delhi should abandon biometric Aadhaar?—Part XXI

     

    Aadhaar for LPG: Oil companies, Ministry of Petroleum & UIDAI disobeying Supreme Court order–Part XXII

     

    (Gopal Krishna is member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which is campaigning against surveillance technologies since 2010)

  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User 

    COMMENTS

    Harish

    6 years ago

    Aadhaar should be made mandatory for linkage and issued with strict verifications.

    Direct benefits transfer (DBT) should be abolished. DBT is a waste on administration and harassment to concerned Citizens.

    We are listening!

    Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
      Loading...
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email

    BUY NOW

    online financial advisory
    Pathbreakers
    Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
    online financia advisory
    The Scam
    24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
    Moneylife Online Magazine
    Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
    financial magazines online
    Stockletters in 3 Flavours
    Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
    financial magazines in india
    MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
    (Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)
    FREE: Your Complete Family Record Book
    Keep all the Personal and Financial Details of You & Your Family. In One Place So That`s Its Easy for Anyone to Find Anytime
    We promise not to share your email id with anyone