PEOPLE’S COMMITTEE SAYS RIGHT TO PRIVACY COMPROMISED
SHILLONG: The Meghalaya People’s Committee on Aadhaar (MPCA) which met on Tuesday adopted a resolution to oppose the implementation of Aadhaar in the State.
Supported by the Samaritan for Social Transformation (SAST), the MPCA held a public awareness meeting on the recently passed “Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016” at the Khasi National Durbar Hall, Mawkhar.
A statement issued by the MPCA said that after the meeting, it was unanimously resolved that the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 cannot be accepted as it involved high costs, was dependent on untested and unproven technology and instead, sought to encroach on the right to privacy through sharing of information as per section 57 of the Bill.
“The real intent (of implementing Aadhaar) is to maintain perpetual surveillance on private citizens of the country,” the resolution said.
Allowing any one residing in India for not less than 182 days to enrol for Aadhaar is giving room to imminent internal insecurity since as per Section 9 of the Bill, it does “confer any right of, or be proof of, citizenship or domicile in respect of an Aadhaar number holder,” the meeting said.
Speakers at the public awareness campaign included Usha Ramanathan from Delhi who spoke on “Aadhaar and Law, Security, Rights Violation, Policy”, Auguster Jyrwa, general secretary KSU and co-convener of MPCA, who spoke on “Aadhaar and Ethnicity and NPR”, and Rev. P. B. M. Basaiawmoit, who spoke on “Impact of Aadhaar Bill on privacy, security and human rights”
Rev Kyrsoi Pyrtuh a co-convener of MPCA, presided over the meeting.
The meeting also resolved to urge the State Government not to pursue the task of enrolling its citizens with the Aadhaar number by any means for any purpose, in the context of Supreme Court’s interim order that Aadhaar is voluntary and not mandatory and that the Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench on the Right to Privacy and Aadhaar is yet to give its ruling as it had its first sitting only on January 16 this year.
The meeting said that government boards, corporations and other bodies, including banks, corporates and others should not make Aadhaar number mandatory.
The three Autonomous District Councils in the State were also urged to take up the matter as Aadhaar enrolment would come into conflict with provisions of the Sixth Schedule, in particular para 12-A and if necessary, to pursue the matter with the State Government and Governor for applying para 12- A (b).
The copies of the Bill will be sent to all the members of the State Legislature and the political parties urging them to pursue the matter at their levels and join hands to stop enrolment of Aadhaar.
The Synjuk ki Nongsynshar Shnong ka Bri U Hynniewtrep, the umbrella body of headmen will also be provided with the copy of the Bill.
The MPCA has decided to organise similar awareness campaigns on Aadhaar in all the district headquarters and other places within the State.