Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Aadhar Project And UIDAI Must Be Scrapped

One of the most controversial projects of India is unique identification project of India (UID project of India) or Aadhar project of India. The Aadhar project is openly and blatantly violating various civil liberties of Indian citizens. Even the unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) is devoid of any constitutional and legal status.

If Aadhar project and UIDAI are clearly unconstitutional project/authority why is Indian government wasting crores of money upon them? This is the most frustrating aspect of Aadhar project and UIDAI.

The only answer seems to be so that the Indian government can enhance its e-surveillance capabilities by clubbing Aadhar project with national population register (NPR) of India, national intelligence grid (Natgrid), crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS), etc. These are only known projects and there may be many projects that Indian citizens may not be aware of.

According to Praveen Dalal, Supreme Court lawyer and leading techno legal expert of India, there is no second opinion about the fact that Aadhar Project and UIDAI are “Unconstitutional” in the absence of a “Constitutionally Sound Law” in this regard. This is more so when there are no dedicated Privacy Laws in India and Data Protection Laws in India, opines Praveen Dalal.

Surprisingly, the government of India has deliberately abstained from enacting suitable privacy and data protection laws in India. On the contrary, it amended the sole cyber law of India contained in the information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000) through the information technology amendment act, 2008 (IT Act 2008).

After this amendment, unregulated, unaccountable and unconstitutional powers were obtained by Indian government regarding e-surveillance and electronic eavesdropping in India. This amendment was primarily made to accommodate projects like Natgrid, Aadhar, CCTNS, etc.

Even there is no lawful interception law in India. The present E-Surveillance and Phone Tapping practices adopted by India are “Unconstitutional” in the absence of a Constitutionally Sound Lawful Interception Law, says Praveen Dalal.

If we analyse the entire scenario, there are very strong ground to scrap Aadhar project and UIDAI till proper legal framework is at place. May be our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh would take initiative in this regard before it is too late.