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posted on Sat, Nov 24 '18 under tag: politics

Roundtable discussion on the analysis of the #Aadhaar verdict, its impact on the ground, and next steps

Anupam Saraph talked about the history of how UIDAI was set up and why the “need for unique ID” came up. He discussed about how the numbers don’t add up on how the 100 crore+ people already having aadhaar could have had two other ID cards. There are a lot of ghosts with Aadhaar number.

Authentication is not equal to identification. But Aadhaar replaced identification with authentication. And then created a different layer of service providers for authentication.

The enrollment and authentication ecosystems have twisted and turned around the idea of delivery and identification of beneficiaries.

An RTI revealed that there is no change in the flow of funds from consolidated fund of India to beneficiary before and after aadhaar. Also, nobody knows who the beneficiaries are.

Airtel Payments Bank scam, and other examples exist on how there is nobody taking ownership of this mess.

Dr Usha Ramanathan started the legal analysis of the act.

The judgement created two classes of people. Some people are entitled to fundamental rights. Those who want subsidies cannot have fundamental rights. This in complete contradiction of “right to privacy” being a fundamental right that cannot be waived off as observed by the previous, larger constitution bench.

The judgement has not specified what are benefits/subsidies. Benefits which are earned (like NREGA) cannot be mandatorily tied with aadhaar. Social security pentions can be linked up. Pentions linked to job need not be linked because they are “earned”.

In controlled settings, more than 8 percent iris based matching fails and 6 percent fingerprint fails. But the supreme court based its judgement on a success rate of 99.273. This basis itself is wrong.

Consent is not addressed.

What to be done with the information already collected is not specified.

Businesses have been setup, like Khosla labs, which are intermediaries inside the system.

Section 56 being struck down is important. Jan-dhan - Aadhaar - Mobile (JAM). But most businesses are around mobile and aadhaar linkage and therefore there will be strong currents against this.

Though evidence that people are being denied entitlements were shown to SC, the government denied these and these were discarded.

There was time pressure on then Chief Justice to give judgements before retirment and therefore, probably, parallel judgements were made without discussion.

There are facts in the judgement of Chandrachud that are not acknowledged in other judgements.


I had to go to PGDMLE class and therefore I left.