Today, the Supreme Court tagged the four new petitions brought before it with the other pending Aadhaar cases. All the petitions will be heard by a Constitution Bench, possibly by end of November. The Court assured the petitioners that if the matter is not heard at the end of November, it would consider issuing interim orders to stay the linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile services.
Rethink Aadhaar demands an immediate end to the linkage and use of Aadhaar and biometric authentication
There have been reports coming in of starvation deaths because people are not being able to access their ration entitlements due to failure to link with and authenticate using Aadhaar. Some of these reports can be found in the update from the Right to Food Campaign at the end of this mail. The State of Aadhaar Report 2016-17 shows that failure rates, after multiple attempts, vary between 7% and 17%. Their subsequently updated figures from here is reproduced below. Other reports show failure rates as high as 66%.
The Aadhaar Act, 2016 as it says is supposed to be for the “targeted delivery of financial and other subsidies, benefits and services.” But the ground reality tells us a different story.
Thousands of MNEREGA workers gathered at Jantar Mantar for five days from 11th September to 15th September 2017 to express their frustration over lack of wages, no ration, and poor maternity benefits.
On the third day of the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha hundreds of MNREGA rural workers gathered at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi spoke of the varied problems they are facing due to Aadhaar, a biometrics linked ID, being made mandatory to continue getting essential services.
Tukaram from the Jagrat Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Madhya Pradesh said that in their village, pregnant women faced enormous problems at the time of delivery. "To call the ambulance by calling 108, we are being to show proof of Aadhaar numbers. A woman worker's delivery was delayed because she forgot to carry her Aadhaar card to the hospital."
In a shocking security breach of Aadhaar, India’s biometric ID project for residents, the police have arrested 10 men in Uttar Pradesh in North India for successfully creating fake biometrics identities in the Aadhaar database, by cloning fingerprints.
On September 11, the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force caught a 10-member gang who have been impersonating the credentials of certified Aadhaar operators both by faking the operators’ fingerprints using photopolymer resin, and by illegally cracking open enrolment software of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Delhi High Court appointed Commissioner records exclusion from food rations due to Aadhaar; HC asks Delhi Government to operationalise transparency, grievance redress, accountability provisions of National Food Security Act.
In a landmark hearing today, a bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Chief Justice Geeta Mittal & Justice C. Hari Shankar said that were appalled to note that the Delhi government had failed to promulgate rules under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) including those related to transparency, grievance redress and accountability provisions despite passage of more than 3 years since the enactment of the law. The Court directed the government to frame Rules and operationalise all provisions of the law in a time-bound manner to ensure proper functioning of ration shops in Delhi. Rules under the law are required to be framed by the State government, but till date the Delhi government had not promulgated any rules.
We welcome the judgment of the Supreme Court affirming the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right. This is a historic day.
This judgment comes to us after a reference in the Aadhaar cases starting in in 2012 where the Union Government in August 2015 argued that the fundamental right to privacy does not exist under the Constitution. Since then the government and UIDAI, the agency managing the Aadhaar database, have consistently argued in Court that Indians have no fundamental privacy and that privacy is a concern only of the elite. These pernicious arguments have finally been laid to rest.