Campaign against UID Fraud gains momentum

via Courtesy: Retired Colonel Mathew Thomas Shri Somasekhar V K published on July 8, 2011

Campaign against Unique Identification number is gaining momentum. Shri Somasekhar V K and Retired Colonel Mathew Thomas  who are spearheading the campaign against this fraud issued legal notice to UIDAI and Planning Commission.

Since the National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill, 2010, is under consideration by The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, we believe that it is appropriate we bring to your notice the illegal actions being carried out be the UIDAI and the Planning Commission, of which the former is an attached office.

UIDAI and the Planning Commission have circumvented Parliament and lawful procedures under the Constitution in going ahead with the UID project, even before the law for the same is enacted by Parliament.

It is strange that the Government is silent on this aspect, even as the constituents of the UPA Government and the opposition parties are united in ensuring the Parliamentary procedures are strictly followed, as seen in the Lokpal Bill matter.

Hence, one civic activist has issued legal notices to both the UIDAI and the Planning Commission. We have enclosed a copy of the said notice for your information and action as deemed fit.

Very briefly, here is a summary of the points in our notice to the above parties.

1. The NIAI Bill is yet to be passed by Parliament for it to become a law. The Bill is under consideration by a Parliamentary Committee. While so, UIDAI and the Planning Commission (First, second and third parties in our notice) have gone ahead with the implementation of the Act, by issuing Aadhaar numbers. This is illegal. (It also shows scant regard for Parliamentary procedures.)

2. UIDAI has entered into contracts and MOUs with various governmental and non-government authorities, such as companies, banks, financial institutions and social service organisations. In doing so, UIDAI has impersonated as an authority of the Government of India, which it is not.

3. Therefore all these contracts and MOUs are not valid in law.

4. Further, payments are being made out of public funds to these entities. The contracts being void in law, these payments are illegal. The notice has asked for recovery of sums illegally paid.

5. Among the contracts UIDAI has entered into with these private companies, are contracts with both foreign and Indian companies and NGOs. One such foreign company goes by the name of L 1 Identity Solutions [L1]. This Company has on its board of directors, former officers of the US intelligence agencies, CIA and FBI. L1 took over another US Company, by name, Viisage.Viisage was under investigation by US Government authorities when the take over happened. Georgia State cancelled a contract it had given to Viisage for driving license, citing default. L 1 is currently a vendor of CIA. L 1 is under take over by a French Company, called Safran. The notice has sought details of due diligence done by the Home and Defense Ministries and Indian intelligence agencies before UIDAI entered into the contracts with L1 as well as with other companies.

6. The list of registrars whom UIDAI empaneled has an assortment of organisations who do not appear to have any qualification or experience in this line of activity. Some of them appear to be front organisations for others. For example, there are three companies, who have their addresses in the same area, share the same email IDs and their directors appear to be from the same family. All three of them have names beginning with the word, “Alankit”. The notice has sought the basis and method of selection in appointing these companies as registrars.

7. No feasibility study or cost-benefit analysis has been done before the UID project was implemented. Two elaborate studies, one by the London School of Economics [LSE] and another by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad [IIM (A)], have raised serious questions on the necessity and viability of such ID schemes, with biometrics. The notice questions the financial prudence of the Government (Planning Commission) in embarking on this project, which the Government is required to exercise, under the Constitution. The second and third parties seem to have abdicated their Constitional responsibilities, in turning a blind eye to the activities of UIDAI in spending public monies on this project without any project report or study.

8. The notice calls upon the parties to stop all activity in this project, until Parliament passes a law and the Executive frames rules for its implementation and the same is notified in the Gazette.

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