UIDAI asks Hyderabad man to prove citizenship, alleges his Aadhaar could be fake

The UIDAI on February 3 sent a letter to Sattar Khan, a resident of Hyderabad raising questions on whether he was an Indian citizen. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that oversees the functioning of Aadhaar in the country in a letter to Sattar claimed to have had received a complaint/allegation that he was not an Indian National, the letter did not specify who made the complaint. UIDAI alleged that according to the complaint Sattar had obtained the Aadhaar card through false pretences, making false claims and submitting false documents.

The UIDAI has asked Sattar to present himself before an enquiry officer at 11 am on February 20 at Balapur in Rangareddy district. He has been asked to provide necessary original documents to prove his Indian citizenship. If he is not an Indian National, he is to prove that he entered the country legally, the notice says. And if he failed to show up, the UIDAI would take a decision suo moto, the notice warns.

Its unclear how many such letters have been issued by the UIDAI so far. Muzaferullah Khan, Sattar’s advocate reasons that since UIDAI has orgainsed the inquiry at a function hall, there could be many more people turning up. “They have booked a function hall for the probe, it could mean there could be a lot of people who they have sent letters to,”he said. The lawyer intends to challenge the UIDAI in the Telangana High Court, questioning the authority of UIDAI to summon Indian citizens and question their citizenship.

— source thenewsminute.com | Mithun MK | Feb 18, 2020

Nullius in verba


Kerala Govt must withdraw compulsory Aadhaar for state govt jobs

Last week Kalyani Menon Sen, a citizen, and petitioner in the Aadhaar case sent a legal notice to the Government of Kerala which has made Aadhaar mandatory for all state government jobs. We are issuing a joint statement supporting this action along with Rethink Aadhaar, Internet Freedom Foundation and Article 21.

Joint Statement

Kalyani Menon Sen, a citizen, and petitioner in the batch of writ petitions challenging the constitutionality of Aadhaar in KS Puttaswamy v Union of India (2019 10 SCC 1) has sent the Government of Kerala a legal notice demanding that it withdraw a recent order mandating compulsory Aadhaar verification for all new applicants and recent appointees to state government jobs.

Rethink Aadhaar, Internet Freedom Foundation, Swathanthra Malayalam Computing, Article 21 and endorse this legal notice, and call on the Kerala Government to withdraw this order.

The order dated 11.06.2020, which was issued by the Kerala Government’s Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms, relates to applicants and new appointments to the Kerala Public Service Commission. As Ms. Menon Sen’s legal notice notes, mandating Aadhaar verification for new appointees and applicants violates the order of the Supreme Court relating to Aadhaar, KS Puttaswamy v Union of India (2019 10 SCC 1). The 5 judge bench specified that mandating the use of Aadhaar numbers, whether for verification or any other purpose, was constitutionally valid for two purposes only: for linking with PAN numbers, and for obtaining welfare benefits in the nature of a subsidy which is funded from the Consolidated Fund of India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court also read down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act (as it then stood), and specified that the State could use Aadhaar only if it met the following two conditions: that such use was voluntary, and that such use was covered by primary legislation for that purpose.

The purpose of preventing fraud cannot and should not be carried out by breaches to privacy, dignity and autonomy of individuals, especially in the absence of any clear basis in law.

As a constitutional body, the Government of Kerala, and the KPSC are bound to uphold the rule of law and the judgements of the Supreme Court, and should withdraw the notification, and clarify that Aadhaar verification remains optional.

— source blog.smc.org.in | Anivar Aravind | Jun 29, 2020

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Nearly 88% of ration cards cancelled in Jharkhand belonged to genuine households

A study that surveyed 3,901 households in 10 districts of Jharkhand has found that nearly 88 per cent of ration cards cancelled around three years ago belonged to genuine households.

The startling finding underscores the pitfalls of extreme decisions taken on the basis of a document-driven filtering process and comes at a time similar concerns have been expressed about the new citizenship matrix.

The revelation is all the more shocking because several deaths then were linked to suspected starvation arising from the dispossession of the ration cards although the then BJP government never accepted that any loss of life was caused by hunger.

The Jharkhand report, drawn up by economists Karthik Muralidharan, Paul Niehaus and Sandip Sukhtankar, was based on a survey conducted for Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), co-founded by economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, who won the Nobel prize last year.

Titled “Identity verification standard in welfare programmes: Experimental evidence from India”, the report says only around 12 per cent of the cancelled ration cards were “ghost” or fake.

— source telegraphindia.com | Achintya Ganguly | 21.02.20

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The family with no fingerprints

Apu, who is 22, lives with his family in a village in the northern district of Rajshahi. He was working as a medical assistant until recently. His father and his grandfather were farmers.

The men in Apu’s family appear to share a genetic mutation so rare it is thought to affect only a small handful of families in the world: they have no fingerprints.

Back in the day of Apu’s grandfather, having no fingerprints was no big deal. “I don’t think he ever thought of it as a problem,” Apu said.

But over the decades, the tiny grooves that swirl around our fingertips – known properly as dermatoglyphs – have become the world’s most collected biometric data. We use them for everything from passing through airports to voting and opening our smartphones.

In 2008, when Apu was still a boy, Bangladesh introduced National ID cards for all adults, and the database required a thumbprint. The baffled employees did not know how to issue a card to Apu’s father, Amal Sarker. Finally, he received a card with “NO FINGERPRINT” stamped on it.

In 2010, fingerprints became mandatory for passports and driver’s licences. After several attempts

— source | Mir Sabbir | Dec 26, 2020

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Aadhaar Continues to Trip Up Direct Benefit Transfer Schemes, Duping Thousands

Even after rounds of clarifications from the Reserve Bank of India and the Unique Identification Authority of India, and five years after a Supreme Court order rendering the interlinking of Aadhaar and bank accounts voluntary, Aadhaar cards continue to pose a big roadblock when it comes to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes.

Successive reports, especially in the severe financial crunch presented by the lockdown, have pointed out that not only has Aadhaar continued to trip people availing themselves of the Public Distribution System and MGNREGS, it is also the prime problem for disbursement of money for scholarships, the PM Kisan scheme, LPG subsidies and so on.

A campaign called Rethink Aadhaar has published a report highlighting the ease with which Aadhaar has enabled scams to perpetuate in the form of DBTs.

Calling the system a “direct benefit to scammers,” the report highlights how real beneficiaries are often duped by this system.

“With the Aadhaar-based DBT system, beneficiaries are unaware of how and when their personal details,
— source thewire.in | 14/Dec/2020

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Despite SC order, schools In 5 states asked 75% children to show Aadhaar

More than 75 per cent of school-age children in five states were required to provide their Aadhaar–a 12-digit, biometric-based, unique identity number–for school enrolment in violation of a landmark Supreme Court order, as per the State of Aadhaar Report 2019 published on November 25, 2019.

Nationwide, providing Aadhaar during enrolment was mandatory for about 73 per cent of children, the report said: “Even after the 2018 Supreme Court ruling, many families still need to provide Aadhaar for children’s school enrolment.”

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is tasked with the Aadhaar programme, had stated in December 2018 that “asking for Aadhaar cards for admissions is not as per the provisions of law” and asked schools to ensure that children are not denied admission for lack of Aadhaar.

— source business-standard.com | Dec 9, 2019

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Aadhaar-based Scholarships Scam

In a recent investigation of scholarship schemes in Jharkhand, Many ways to dupe a poor student, the Indian Express brought to light how social security benefits being transferred via the Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer (“DBT”) system are being siphoned off by a nexus of business correspondents, agents, banking staff and school staff, with beneficiaries completely left in the dark.

The leaks and malpractice along the chain in the Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer of scholarships exposed by The Indian Express are not isolated instances but are an inevitable part of the design of the Aadhaar-based DBT system, as several features of this system enable these types of scams or “diverted payments”.

— source rethinkaadhaar.in | Nov 25, 2020

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Bankers help crooks open accounts

Cyber Crime Station sleuths of Hyderabad, wrote to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding inaction in 35 criminal cases where bank staffers in connivance with the accused opened bank accounts on fictitious names. Most of the fake accounts were generated from Delhi, North East, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand from where cyber criminals are said to be operating and depositing money in banks generated through job frauds, card frauds and insurance scams.

CCS additional deputy commissioner of police (crimes) KCS Raghuvir told TOI, “In most cyber crimes, when we check the address of the account, it is found to be fake. The person will not be living in the address or the address does not exist at all. We wrote to nodal officers of vigilance wings of each bank, giving details of such fraud accounts. But, no action was taken.”

Raghuvir added, “Most of the accounts are opened with fake Aadhaar cards and other KYC documents in remote districts in the North East or Kashmir. The State Bank of India has the highest number of such accounts opened in the name of fictitious persons. There are fewer cases of fake accounts opened in the two Telugu states. But the accused opening fake accounts elsewhere are duping people from Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana. There is this case of a Bihar-based gang that opened 35 fake accounts and duped people from here. Letters were written to the banks like SBI, Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and other private and nationalised banks regarding action against erring staff.”

— source timesofindia.indiatimes.com | Mar 10, 2019

worst thing about aadhaar is that, connot identify which is genuine and which is fake.

Telangana HC Directs State Not To Insist Aadhaar For Uploading Property Details In Dharani Portal

The Telangana High Court has directed the State not to insist on uploading of Aadhaar details vis-i-vis the agricultural land details being placed by the people on Dharani Portal.

The bench comprising the Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy passed the interim order in petitions challenging the collection of Aadhaar Card numbers from the property owners for uploading property details in Dharani portal.

The court noted that though the Dharani Portal makes it mandatory that the Aadhaar number must be given, such a requirement is not seen in the Telangana Rights in Land and Pattadar Pass Books Act, 2020.

— source livelaw.in | 4 Nov 2020

Nullius in verba