Implementation of Aadhaar opposed

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.