Chief Justice of India TS Thakur
Supreme Court of India
New Delhi – 110001
[Subject: Aadhaar should be declared unconstitutional]
It would not have escaped your notice that the govt. has publicly declared its intent to achieve 100% Aadhaar enrolment. To meet this end, all sorts of direct and indirect threats are being issued to the citizens of this country. Aadhaar is proposed to be made mandatory for such things as appearing for board exams or booking railway tickets or opening bank accounts or getting a mobile connection.
No independently verifiable justification has yet been provided to support the feverish fetish for universalising Aadhaar. In such a situation, it is extremely risky for a citizen of this country to submit himself to this scheme. Claims of Aadhaar being a fool proof identification mechanism have been blown hollow from field deployments in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. In fact the non-zero possibility of both false positives and false negatives makes Aadhaar the weakest and most unreliable of all identity proofs. Unlike what the UIDAI would like us to believe, these are not teething problems. These are due to the nature of the data itself, which cannot be fixed by any amount of technology.
Thus, even for those in possession of Aadhaar no., it is not tenable to demand Aadhaar as the sole and mandatory proof of identity. Taking this a step backward, there is no justification for Aadhaar to be accorded any status higher than being just one of the various identity proofs one may possess or choose to submit. Taking this a further step backward, there is no justification for demanding that every citizen compulsorily enrol himself into Aadhaar.
It is plainly obvious that the true intent of the Aadhaar programme is to establish a universal surveillance grid wherein every action of a citizen, from birth to death, can be tracked. What else can explain the diabolical situation where parents have to drag their 5 year old kids to enrolment centres to have their fingerprints and irises scanned? The Aadhaar legislation deliberately camouflages the scheme as a “targeted delivery” or a welfare scheme, in order to sidestep the clash against citizens’ fundamental rights.
In all likelihood the unreliability of biometric identification will result in the Aadhaar scheme degenerating to no more than a number on a card. In such case there will be nothing left to differentiate it from any other identity document. But the constant pressure to provide the Aadhaar no. at every conceivable transaction will keep the citizen perpetually on the radar.
Aadhaar has the potential to permanently alter the relationship between the Indian state and its people. As a democracy we should progressively move towards a more open and liberal society, rather than find comfort in authoritarianism. I humbly urge the honourable Supreme Court to clearly convey that the individual is the primary owner of his own identity and not the state. Towards this end, it is imperative that the Aadhaar programme be declared unconstitutional.
Further reading: https://bulletman.wordpress.com/category/aadhaar/