Seven years of a memorable Press Conference on UID, an anti-UID/Aadhaar event not covered under external influence

Seven years of research, advocacy and campaign on surveillance through Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) of UID/Aadhaar numbers

If once people become inattentive to the public affairs, “you and I, Congress and Assemblies, judges and Governors shall become wolves.-Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of USA in a letter, 16 January, 1787   
Who arrogates the power to spy on the entire earth-every single of us-and when he is caught red handed, explains to us that “we’re going to have to make a choice. Who is that person? Let’s be careful about who we call “traitor”.       
-Statement of Julian Assange of Wikileaks, who may have to stay in Eucadorian Embassy until 2022 (22 June 2013) 
Tolerably early in life I discovered that one of the unpardonable sins in the eyes of most people is for a man to go about unlabelled.
-TH Huxeley, a British biologist and a prominent defender of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution
 We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity.
- a Proclamation from La Paz, capital of Bolivia, 16 July 1809
On completing seven years of its work on surveillance through Panopticon called Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) of UID/Aadhaar numbers, Citizens Form for Civil Liberties (CFCL) recollects a memorable press conference on “The UID Project” which was held at the Press Club, New Delhi on 28 September, 2010 from 12 noon onwards. As concerned citizens the eminent speakers raised questions about the UID project and undemocratic process, Privacy, Surveillance, Profiling, Tracking and Convergence which can happen with the help of the UID number. The conference was attended by print and electronic media wherein the speakers shared details about how this has the potential to violate citizens’ right to privacy and transform the state-citizen relationship and will affect every resident using Unique Identity (UID) Number. This number has been branded as Aadhaar.
Coincidentally, there was a "Bangalore based Adhar Trust that Nilekani and Rohini Nilekani set up to fund their initiatives into a government function." Adhar Trust was in news in August 2003. It was reported in financial newspapers and business magazines. It was reported that Adhar Trust donated 4.75 crore to the initiatives of Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) at that point in time. Bangalore based researchers confirmed it when Aadhaar name was chosen as the brand name of 12 digit unique identification (UID) number. The coincidence of NGO of Rohini Nilekani & Nandan Nilekani having 'Adhar' name and UID getting "Aadhaar" name remains inexplicable and quite stark. The UID project was renamed the Aadhaar project after the UIDAI avowedly had a nationwide competition to find a logo and a brand name. Curiously, Aadhaar name echoes the name of based Adhar Trust.
The journalists present at the press conference on 28 September asked many questions of concern. The conference continued for a long time. Even after the press conference several journalists stayed back to speak to the speakers for long.  After the press conference, the organizers Campaign for No UID and Citizens Form for Civil Liberties (CFCL) found that the attendance sheet of all the journalists who attended the conference was missing. On 29 September there was no coverage of the anti-UID/Aadhaar event under some external influence through a public relations agency. Some journalists informed that they had filed the story but it was not published. The lesson from the incident is that when there is a contest between journalists and public relations professionals, the latter prevails through media owners. This was the day one which biometric UID/Aadhaar number was launched by Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in Maharashtra in the presence of Nilekani as Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India, (UIDAI).
On 24 August, 2017, when 9-Judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court gave its verdict on Right to Privacy, the statement of concern issued at the press conference on 28 September 2010 signed by seventeen eminent signatories was vindicated. The signatories included personalities like Late Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Retired Judge, Supreme Court of India, Justice A.P.Shah, Retired Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi, Prof Romila Thapar, Historian, Late K.G.Kannabiran, Senior Civil Liberties Lawyer, Bezwada Wilson, Safai Karamchari Andolan, Aruna Roy, MKKS, Rajasthan, Late S.R.Sankaran, Retired Secretary, Government of India, Upendra Baxi, Jurist and ex-Vice Chancellor of Universities of Surat and Delhi, Uma Chakravarthi, Historian, Shohini Ghosh, Teacher and Film Maker, Amar Kanwar, Film Maker, Trilochan Sastry, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, and Association for Democratic Reforms, Prof. Jagdeep S. Chhokar , ex- IIM Ahemadabad, and Association for Democratic Reforms, Kavita Srivastava, PUCL and Right to Food Campaign, Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD and Deep Joshi, Independent Consultant. The statement asked the government to halt the project. It demanded that a feasibility study be done covering all aspects of this issue, experts be tasked with studying its constitutionality, the law on privacy be urgently worked on, a cost : benefit analysis be done and a public, informed debate be conducted before any such major change be brought in.
The speakers addressing the press conference informed the media that the UID project is supposed to give every resident a Unique Identity (UID) Number, has been initiated without any prelude: there is no project document; there is no feasibility study; there has been no cost: benefit analysis; there are serious concerns about data and identity theft. The UID project has proceeded so far without any legal authorization, on the basis of an executive order, that could change the status of the people in this country, with effects on our security and constitutional rights, and a consideration of all aspects of the project should be undertaken with this in mind.
The speakers at the press conference on 28 September 2010 drew the attention of the media towards the fact that national IDs have been abandoned in the US, Australia and the newly-elected British government. The reasons have predominantly been:  costs and privacy. In the UK, the Home Secretary explained that they were abandoning the project because it would otherwise be `intrusive bullying’ by the state, and that the government intended to be the `servant’ of the people, and not their `master’. In the late nineties, the Supreme Court of Philippines struck down a biometric based national ID system as unconstitutional on two grounds – the overreach of the executive over the legislative powers of the congress and invasion of privacy. The same is applicable in India – UIDAI has been constituted on the basis of a GoI notification and there is a fundamental risk to civil liberties with the convergence of UID, NATGRID and the National Population Register.
For Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) it all began with a late night lecture on the subject of 12-digit biometric Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar based surveillance by Dr Usha Ramanathan, a noted scholar of jurisprudence at Godavari Hostel in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in April 2010. This was the first lecture on the subject in JNU. This lecture inspired the launch of CFCL as an initiative of MediaVigil, a forum of old students of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), which comprises of media practitioners, scholars, researchers and social activists. Since the CFCL has been working relentlessly on the subject of UID/Aadhaar and related implications of surveillance technologies, big data and artificial intelligence on natural rights.  
A brief chronology of CFCL”s work is as under:
2010-CFCL issued an Open Letter to Fellow Citizens Against Unique Identification Number &
National Population Register (NPR)
seeking scrapping of Unique Identification Number (UID)/ Aadhar project involving biometric data collection linked to National Population Register (NPR) because it has the potential to facilitate mass violence of the kind witnessed in Nazi Germany. It briefed them about Sam Pitroda’s public information infrastructure (PII) is tagging people, tagging places, tagging programmes etc to connect 2.50 lakh Panchayats all over the country. UID/aadhaar and NPR of Chandramouli are subsets of this program. Ever wondered as to why the votaries of privatization of every imaginable natural resource ‘for public welfare’ have become advocates of centralization of biological information of Indians ‘for public welfare.’ The rationale for the stateization of personal sensitive information of Indian residents and citizens appears dubious. CFCL critiqued the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010.
Nilekani was given ID Limelight Award at the ID WORLD International Congress, 2010 in Milan, Italy on 16th November wherein Safran Morpho (Safran group) was a key sponsor of the ID Congress. Its subsidiary, Sagem Morpho Security Pvt Ltd has been awarded contract for the purchase of Biometric Authentication Devices on 2 February 2011 by the UIDAI.
Earlier, on 30 July 2010, in a joint press release, it was announced that “the Mahindra Satyam and Morpho led consortium has been selected as one of the key partners to implement and deliver the Aadhaar program by UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India).” This means that at least two contracts have been awarded to the French conglomerate led consortium.  Is it a coincidence that Morpho (Safran group) sponsored the award to chairman, UIDAI and the former got a contract from the latter?
Nilekani was given the award "For being the force behind a transformational project ID project in India...and "to provide identification cards for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. It would also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various programs and schemes of the government."
It may also be noted that UIDAI awarded contracts to three companies namely, Satyam Computer Services Ltd (Mahindra Satyam), as part of a “Morpho led consortium”, L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Company and Accenture Services Pvt Ltd of US for the “Implementation of Biometric Solution for UIDAI” on 30 July 2010.
The award was given within less than one month of the launch of biometric UID/Aadhaar number by Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh on 29 September 2010. Nilekani joined UIDAI in July 2009 and got the award within 14 months. What miracle did he perform in such short span? How will anyone justify the contract awarded by UIDAI under Nilekani to Safran’s subsidiary, Sagem Morpho Security Pvt Ltd for the purchase of Biometric Authentication Devices on 2 February 2011 after getting the ID Limelight award from them?
In 2009, Pakistan’s vice chairman of National Database Registration (NADRA) was also given an award at this very summit for successful implementation of UID/Aadhaar like project in his country. In an interview, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks informed Imran Khan about the grave act of omission and commission. Assange said, “…we discovered a cable in 2009 from the Islamabad Embassy. Prime minister Gilani and interior minister Malik went into the (US) embassy and offered to share National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) – and NADRA is the national data and registration agency database. The system is currently connected through passport data but the government of Pakistan is adding voice and facial recognition capability and has installed a pilot biometric system as the Chennai border crossing, where 30,000 to 35,000 people cross each day. This NADRA system is the voting record system for all voters in Pakistan. A front company was set up in the United Kingdom – International Identity Services, which was hired as the consultants for NADRA to squirrel out the NADRA data for all of Pakistan. What do you think about that? Is that a…? It seems to me that that is a theft of some national treasure of Pakistan, the entire Pakistani database registry of its people.” The interview is available here.
In the contract agreement between the President of India, as purchaser and L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Company, as a "Biometric Solution Provider" it has been officially admitted that the latter is a corporation of US based in Delaware as of 24 August 2010.  L-1 has since been bought over by French corporate conglomerate, Safran Group after the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was convinced that there are no unresolved national security concerns with respect to the transaction. L-1 Identity Solutions announced agreement to be acquired by Safran on 20 September 2010.
From the contract agreement between the President of India, as purchaser and Accenture Services Pvt Ltd as a "Biometric Solution Provider" dated 1 September 2010 it is evident that it has not been disclosed that Accenture Services Pvt Ltd is a subsidiary of Dublin, Ireland based Accenture plc, a US company. Till 1 January 2001 it was known as Andersen Consulting. As a consequence of French corporate conglomerate Safran’s purchase of US company L-1 Identity Solutions, the de-duplication contracts of UIDAI’s Centralized Identities Data Repository (CIDR) and Home Ministry’s National Population Register (NPR) which was given to foreign companies on 30 July 2010 to three companies now lies with two companies of French and US origin namely, Safran Group and Accenture.
UIDAI has not disclosed whether there has been any fresh agreement between UIDAI and Safran Group and its subsidiaries and who all are the biometric solution providers after the expiry of the “contractual obligations” with L-1 Identity Solution and Accenture. The contract agreement with Accenture Services Pvt Ltd at clause 15.1 it reads: "By virtue of this Contract, M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd/Team of M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd may have access to personal information of the Purchaser and/or a third party or any resident of India, any other person covered within the ambit of any legislation as may be applicable."  The purchaser is President of India through UIDAI.
CFCL noted that coincidentally, World Bank launched its eTransform Initiative in Washington to unleash a Transformational Government project through convergence in 14 developing countries which focuses on e-identity as well. 
2011- Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that examined and trashed the Aadhaar Bill, 2010, which was reshaped and introduced in Rajya Sabha and it remain pending there till 3rd March 2016 when it was withdrawn and supposedly a new Bill was introduced as Money Bill and got enacted act Aadhaar Act 2016 amidst vociferous objection by Rajya Sabha. It faces constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court's original three judge bench.
The multi-party Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance comprised of Yashwant Sinha, Shivkumar Udasi Chanabasappa, Jayant Chaudhary, Harishchandra Deoram Chavan, Bhakta Charan Das, Gurudas Dasgupta, Nishikant Dubey, Chandrakant Khaire, Bhartruhari Mahtab, Anjan Kumar Yadav M, Prem Das Rai, Dr Kavuru Sambasiva Rao, Rayapati S Rao, Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, Sarvey Sathyanarayana, GM Siddeswara, N Dharam Singh, Yashvir Singh, Manicka Tagore, R Thamaraiselvan, Dr M Thambidurai, SS Ahluwalia,  Vijay Jawaharlal Darda, Piyush Goyal, Raashid Alvi, Moinul Hassan, Satish Chandra Misra, Mahendra Mohan, Dr Mahendra Prasad, Dr KVP Ramachandra Rao and Yogendra P Trivedi. Few members had given a dissent bit without providing credible reason for it.
CFCL informed fellow citizens about a report “Biometrics: The Difference Engine: Dubious security” published by The Economist in its 1st October 2010 issue which observed “Biometric identification can even invite violence. A motorist in Germany had a finger chopped off by thieves seeking to steal his exotic car, which used a fingerprint reader instead of a conventional door lock.” This reveals the frightening ramifications of using biometrics as a basis for identification. It briefed them about another report “Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities” that concluded that the current state of biometrics is ‘inherently fallible’. That is one of the findings of a five-year study was jointly commissioned by the CIA, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
2012- CFCL filed a complaint in the National Human Rights Commission seeking pre-emptive intervention to stop dangerous erosion of privacy by DNA profiling of citizens. The proposed human DNA profiling is linked to biometric UID Number.  CFCL wrote about the prayers in the PIL filed against UID/Aadhaar in the Supreme Court. It briefed several legislators about the impact of UID/Aadhaar. It filed an RTI in Lok Sabha Secretariat seeking the presentation of Nilekani before the Parliamentary Standing Committee but was denied the same. CFCL noted that in September 2012 former foreign minister Jaswant Singh said, "I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote".

A letter of Ajit Seth, cabinet secretary, Government of India dated 18 July 2012, which was sent to all secretaries stated, “There is an urgent need to bring rich data assets into the public domain for the use by civil society for scientific, economic and developmental purposes.” The urgency has not been explained till date.
2013-Based CFCL’s research a case was filed in Punjab & Haryana High Court that found application of Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar legally questionable following which Union Territory of Chandigarh’s Executive order for mandatory Biometric UID ‘Cards’ was withdrawn.  It revealed the support of a business tycoon for illegitimate biometric UID/Aadhaar. Supreme Court passed an order saying UID/Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory. CFCL raised questions like: Is there a biological material in the human body that constitutes biometric data immortal, ageless and permanent? Besides working conditions, humidity, temperature and lighting conditions also impact the quality of biological material used for generating biometric data. It established how UID/Aadhaar is based on the unscientific and questionable assumption that there are parts of human body likes fingerprint, iris, voice etc” that does not age, wither and decay with the passage of time. Following it efforts an RTI application was filed whose reply dated October 25, 2013 from UIDAI shared UIDAI’s contract agreement with Ernst & Young states in a most startling disclosure from the contract agreement is its admission that “biometric systems are not 100 % accurate”. It admits that “uniqueness of the biometrics is still a postulate.” In an admission that pulverizes the very edifice on which UID/aadhaar and the NPR rests, it writes, “The loss in information due to limitations of the capture setup or physical conditions of the body, and due (to) the feature representation, there is a non-zero probability that two finger prints or IRIS prints coming from different individuals can be called a match.” This is underlined in bold letters in the contract agreement. In simple words, “non-zero probability that two finger prints or IRIS prints” turning out to be a match means that there is a probability that biometric data of two different individuals can be identical.
The contract agreement states, “the Unique ID will be a random 12-digit number with the basis for establishing uniqueness of identity being biometrics”. The agreement further states, “we will provide a Unique Identity to over 113.9 crore people.” This is evidently a fraudulent claim because UIDAI with which the agreement has been signed has mandate to provide Unique Identity to only 60 crore residents of India and not to 113.9 crore people.
Following Central Information Commission (CIC)’s intervention in the matter of application filed by Col Mathew Thomas, an octogenarian defence scientist, and submissions by the author on his behalf, UIDAI shared its contract agreement with French and US biometric technology companies but crucial pages are missing from the contract agreement after the CIC heard the matter on 10 September 2013. CIC has ruled, “Any agreement entered into by the government is an agreement deemed to have been entered into on behalf of and in the interest of ‘We the people’ in the past.
For long UIDAI refused to share copy of all contracts given to French and US biometric technology companies, namely, L-1 Identity Solutions and Accenture respectively. L-1 was a US company till recently.
Sushma Singh, the Information Commissioner gave UIDAI’s letter written to CIC submitting that "contractual obligation in respect of BSP (Biometric Solution Provider) contracts has expired. Therefore, UIDAI has no objection in sharing the following contract details:-a) Copy of contract of UIDAI with M/s L-1 Identity Solutions for Biometric Technology; and b) Copy of contract of UIDAI with M/s Accenture for Biometric Technology".
After examining these documents with regard to the Accenture for Biometric Technology, it has come to notice that the first 237 pages appear to be in order but after that there is a one pager titled Annexure J Technical Bid (Technical Bid as submitted by M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd). The Technical Bid document is missing. After that there is a one pager titled Annexure K Commercial Bid Commercial (Bid as submitted by M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd). The Commercial Bid document is missing.
With regard to the L-1 Identity Solutions for Biometric Technology, one noticed that the first 236 pages appear to be in order but after that there is a one pager titled Annexure I non-disclosure agreement as submitted by L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Company Pvt Ltd. But this document is missing. After that there is a one pager titled Annexure J Technical Bid as submitted by L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Company Pvt Ltd. The Technical Bid document is missing. After that there is a one pager titled Annexure K Commercial Bid as submitted by L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Company Pvt Ltd. The Commercial Bid document is missing. UIDAI has been asked for the missing pages from the copies of the contract.
The reasoning of UIDAI in its letter to CIC dated 10 September 2013 stating that "contractual obligation in respect of BSP (Biometric Solution Provider) contracts has expired” is flawed in the light of the previous judgment of CIC.
Under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the PIO cannot deny information citing commercial confidence for agreements between a public authority and private party. While giving this judgment, CIC said “The claim of 'commercial confidence' in denying access to agreements between private parties and the masters of the public authorities—citizens—runs counter to the principles of the Right to Information.” It stated, “Any agreement entered into by the government is an agreement deemed to have been entered into on behalf of the and in the interest of ‘We the people’. Hence if any citizen wants to know the contents of such an agreement, he is in the position of a principal asking his agent to disclose to him the terms of the agreement entered into by the agent on behalf of the principal. No agent can refuse to disclose any such information to his principal,” the CIC said in its order dated 27 July 2009.
The Commission was of the view that “The objectives of the RTI Act would be defeated if public authorities claim exemption based on a claim that ‘terms and condition were much more favourable to the government’, and therefore these must be kept away from the Public. In fact public feels that quite often the contrary is the case,” the Commission noted. The CIC observed, “Any so called imaginary moral or reciprocal obligation cannot be permitted to subvert a solemn constitutional and legal obligation” and directed the PIO to provide copy of the agreement.
CFCL critiqued the amendments proposed in the National Identification Authority of India Bill.
CFCL wrote a letter to prime minister Manmohan Singh, defense minister AK Antony who is also the head of the Group of Ministers (GoM) which oversees the issue of resident identity cards under scheme of National Population Register (NPR) and to Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of Planning Commission as well as special invitee on the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI-related issues and who is also on the GoM on the issue of resident identity cards under NPR scheme, and Dr C Chandramouli, Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
 It wrote that “Supreme Court has revealed that although the attached enrolmentform of Aadhaar/unique identification (UID) number promises on top of the form that it is free and voluntary, several central ministries and uninformed state governments attempted to make it mandatory, in a manifest case of breach of citizen's trust." The Strategy Overview document of the UIDAI says that "enrolment will not be mandated" adding, "This will not, however, preclude governments or registrars from mandating enrolment". "It must be noted that Mr Nilekani headed several committees whose recommendations made Aadhaar mandatory," he said.
Here is the list of Committees and groups, which decided to make Aadhaar mandatory and are linked with Nilekani:
 1) He headed Technology Advisory Group on Unique Projects (TAGUP) that proposes "private company with public purpose" and with "profit making as the motive but not profit maximising".
 2) He headed of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is functioning without legislative approval either at the centre or in the states and has signed contracts with companies that work with Intelligence agencies.
 3) He headed of Committee on Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) technology for use on National Highways that proposes Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
 4) He headed of Inter-ministerial task force to streamline the subsidy distribution mechanism
 5) He headed of Government of India's IT Task Force for Power Sector
 6) He was member of National Knowledge Commission
 7) He was member of Review Committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
8) He was member of National Advisory Group on e-Governance
 9) He was member of Subcommittee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that dealt with issues related to insider trading
 10) He was member of Reserve Bank of India's Advisory Group on corporate governance
 11) He was member of Prime Minister's National Council on Skill Development
 12) He was member of Prime Minister headed National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers
 13) He was an invitee to the Cabinet Committee on UID related matters
 14) He was an invitee to Group of Ministers (GoM) regarding Issue of Resident Identity Cards under NPR Scheme
 15) He was a member of the board of governors of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)
 16) He is the president of NCAER
 17) He was chairman, Empowered Group, IT Infrastructure for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The list is not exhaustive. Nilekani has many more identities as a shareholder and as head of a corporation.
CFCL noted that the 'rift between Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Planning Commissions’, the UIDAI on UID and NPR was motivated and meant to take legislatures, citizens, states and media for a ride. CFCL has been proven right.
CFCL wrote, " was reported on 6 October 2011 that Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi wrote to the prime minister questioning the need for National Population Register (NPR) by Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner. Gujarat then stopped collection of biometric data for creation of the NPR."
 In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Modi raised objections over both the UIDAI, which is creating UID/Aadhaar number and Registrar General of India, which is creating the NPR, collecting biometric data.
 In his letter Mr Modi wrote, “…there is no mention of capturing biometrics in the Citizenship Act or Citizenship Rules, 2009”. In the absence of any provision in the Citizenship Act, 1955, or rules for capturing biometrics, it is difficult to appreciate how the capture of biometrics is a statutory requirement. Photography and biometrics is only mentioned in the Manual of Instructions for filling up the NPR household schedule and even in that there is no mention of capturing the iris”.
 After Gujarat stopped collection of biometric data, the then Union Minister of Home Affairs, P Chidambaram sent a letter to Mr Modi in August 2011, pointing out that creation of the NPR was a “statutory requirement” under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and “once initialised, (it) has to be necessarily completed”. The MHA had also requested the chief minister to instruct state government officers to cooperate in creation of the NPR. This was when the entire media, citizens and the political class was hoodwinked into believing that there was a rift between Mr Nilekani’s UIDAI under Planning Commission and Dr C Chandramouli’s NPR under MHA when Mr Chidambaram headed it, said Mr Krishna.
 CFCL wrote, "It appears that Mr Modi chose to side with UIDAI in an apparent rebuff to Mr Chidambaram. Mr Modi kicked off UID/Aadhaar project in Gujarat on 1 May 2012 by giving his biometric information and enrolled under the UIDAI project. Strangely, Mr Modi did not object to his biometric identification under UID as he did with regard to NPR. Mr Modi did so despite the fact that Yashwant Sinha (BJP leader) headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that rejected the UID project and the UID Bill in its report to the Parliament on 13 December 2012. However, it may be noted that one sentence of its report appears to endorse biometric NPR. Is it a case of Mr Sinha was trying to side with Mr Chidambaram? It appears that Mr Modi has been taken for ride with regard to the UID/Aadhaar and Mr Sinha with regard to NPR as they failed to see through the strategy. Now Mr Chidambaram is wearing the hat of minister of finance. This is how both Mr Modi and Mr Sinha were outwitted by Mr Chidambaram."    
 CFCL noted that “Mr Nilekani met the then deputy chief minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi at Bihar Bhawan in New Delhi in August 2011 to ensure a centralized IT infrastructure for GST across the states through GST Network, a National Information Utility, a private company with public purpose having profit making as the motive but not profit maximising. This is meant to take away the sovereign function of tax collection from the state."  CFCL pointed out the link between UID/Aadhaar and Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN). The appointment of current UIDAI DG as Chairman of GSTN underlines the same.   
2014- CFCL pointed out that Nandan Nilekani, who was Chairman of UIDAI till 13 March 2014 had joined Indian National Congress on 9 March 2014 and thus violated the service rules for government servants. He had sent his resignation on 13 March 2014 to the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, which was accepted on 18 March 2014 by the “competent authority” with retrospective effect from 13 March 2014. 
BJP defeated Nilekani and his party, which he joined as the chief of Aadhaar implementing authority. Nilekani lost by 2.29 lakh votes but he came second with 4.05 lakh votes. It is noteworthy that he polled these many votes due to misuse of official machinery and the unprecedented support of almost all the commercial czars, who unsuccessfully attempted to manufacture consent in his favour. His Aadhaar project was supported by some key leaders of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too.  The new regime has failed to defeat Congress’s regressive ideology rooted in biometric determinism at the behest of foreign military and intelligence companies by abandoning both Aadhaar and NPR.
In a book ‘The Problem of Party Government’ published in 1974, its author Prof Richard Rose writes, “Office-holding is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of governing.” He added, “Where life of party politics does not affect government policy, the accession of a new party to office is little more significant than the accession of a new monarch; the party reigns but does not rule.” Clearly, with the change in regime, pre-existing orders have not changed.     
Hearing the Special Leave to Appeal (Criminal) No(s).2524/2014, which has been linked with the previous case Writ Petition (Civil) 494 of 2012, the Supreme Court bench of Dr. Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice J. Chelameswar passed an order asking Government of India to delink all programs from biometric aadhaar. Non-Congress political parties have denounced biometric aadhaar as a case of fraud and a national betrayal. CFCL informed the fellow citizens about the contract agreement between the President of India for UIDAI, as purchaser and L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Company, and Accenture Services Pvt Ltd accessed through RTI at clause 15.1 it is stated, “By virtue of this Contract, M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd/Team of M/s Accenture Services Pvt Ltd may have access to personal information of the Purchaser and/or a third party or any resident of India, any other person covered within the ambit of any legislation as may be applicable.”  The purchaser is President of India through UIDAI. The clause 15.3 of the agreements reads, “The Data shall be retained by Accenture Services Pvt Ltd not more than a period of 7 years as per Retention Policy of Government of India or any other policy that UIDAI may adopt in future.”  This clearly implies that all the biometric data of Indians which has been collected so far is now available to US Government and French Government.
It informed fellow citizens that human body came under assault as a result of forced vasectomy of thousands of men under the notorious family planning initiative of Sanjay Gandhi. Nilekani and his ilk have acted worse than Sanjay Gandhi in putting Indians’ body under the assault of biometric surveillance.
CFCL drew on the findings and disclosures of whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning who have joined the ranks of hall fame as the defenders of privacy as a basic human right and contrasted their work with those of likes of Nandan Nilekani, C Chandramouli and Sam Pitroda who have joined the hall of infamy with entities like USA’s National Security Agency as killers of privacy. The latter are admittedly in the business of ‘cloudifying’ databases that has the potential to turn governments into puppets at least as far as control over database is concerned. Following efforts of peoples protest against UID/Aadhaar BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate denounced this project as threat to national security. Arun Jaitley wrote about the dangers of entering to Aadhaar era. 
After the election, CFCL pointed out how Narendra Modi betrayed the democratic mandate by choosing to endorse and promote UID/Aadhaar.  
 2015- CFCL issued a Public Statement in August 2015 recalling the words of the Dalit activist and an eminent citizen who said, “This project wants to fix our identities through time. Even after that we are dead. The information held about us will be fixed to us by the UID number. Changing an identity will become impossible. We are working for the eradication of the practice of manual scavenging, for rehabilitation of those who have been engaged in manual scavenging, and then leaving behind that tag of manual scavenger. How can we accept a system that does not allow us to shed that identity and move on? How can a number that links up databases be good for us?”
The 21 signatories of the Public Statement reiterated the demand that Bills like Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015 and projects like biometric aadhaar “should be halted before it goes any further” recalling the September 2010 statement of concern. The concerned citizens who are its signatories include: 
  1. Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Scientist, All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE), Bhopal
  2. Prof. Kalpana Kannabiran, Director, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad  
  3. Prof (Dr) Mohan Rao, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health (CSMCH), Jawaharal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi
  4. Dr Meher Engineer, Scientist, former President, Indian Academy of Social Science, Kolkata
  5. Ram Bahadur Rai, noted senior journalist  
  6. Dr Babu Rao Kalapala, Scientist, formerly with National Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad
  7. Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, All India Progressive Women Association (AIPWA)
  8. Prof D M Diwakar, Professor of Economics, A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna
  9. Arun Kumar, former Member, Press Council of India, Indian Journalists Union, General Secretary, Bihar Working Journalists Union & President, The Times of India Newspaper Employees Union, Patna
  10. Sankar Ray, veteran journalist
  11. N D Jayaprakash, Disarmament Researcher & veteran activist seeking justice for victims of Bhopal disaster
  12. Qaneez Sukhrani, urban affairs analyst, Pune   
  13. Kshetrimayum Onil, Lead Coordinator, REACHOUT, Manipur
  14. Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, Anhad
  15. Irfan Ahmed, General Secretary, All India Tanjin-e-Insaf, Bihar
  16. Guman Singh, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, Himachal Pradesh
  17. Dr Umakant, Human rights advocate & independent scholar, New Delhi
  18. PT George, Intercultural Resources, Delhi
  19. Wilfred D’ Costa, Indian Social Action Forum, Delhi
  20. Prakash K Ray, Editor,
  21. Gopal Krishna, Member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL)
CFCL briefed fellow citizens about Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the surprising failure of Anonymisation”, a 77 page long study by Paul Ohm Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Law School illustrates how central identity databases facilitate the reverse audit trail of personal information. This paper underlines that the assumption of robust anonymization of electronic identity has been blown up, “casting serious doubt on the power of anonymization, proving its theoretical limits…”
CFCL brought the alarming significance of the letter of Secretary Government of India, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology written to the Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defense asking him to introduce Aadhaar enabled Biometric Attendance System in the department of defence production. The system would enable an employee with an Aadhaar number to register his/her attendance (arrival/ departure) in the office through biometric authentication. It also says that a web based application software system will enable online recording of attendance and that the dash board relating to real time attendance and related statistics, can be viewed by everyone. It is clear that this transforms a “voluntary” project into a mandatory project.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) [formerly Ministry of Communications and Information Technology] has been misleading the State Governments, media and the citizens.
Meanwhile, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Chief Executive Officer, UIDAI has claimed that “At least from the UIDAI side, we have not said it shall be mandatory.” If it indeed true that UID/Aadhaar is not being made mandatory by UIDAI then MeitY should withdraw its letter to Secretary Department of Defence Production and other departments, agencies and State Governments.  If it does not do so with immediate effect else it will demonstrate that it is fibbing by articulating equivocal and questionable statements.
CFCL sent a legal notice to the Central Government. It responded stating, “Aadhaar is being used for Biometric Attendance System and this does not form part of Defence application”.
In its response, Government will have us believe that there is no difference between “age-old attendance register” and UID/Aadhaar enabled Biometric Attendance System. It is eminently clear that UIDAI is sharing half-truths with State Governments, media and the citizens.
In order to comprehend the sophistry involved in such averments, it is germane to recall the intervention of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the case wherein Indian students in USA were made to wear radio collars. NHRC ensured that the government acted to ensure that the human rights of students are protected. It is germane to note that radio collar is based on biometric data like voice print. If making Indian students wear biometric radio collar constitutes an act which Government of India admitted as an act of violation of human rights, indiscriminate biometric profiling is also an act of violation of human rights. As per Section 2 (G) of Aadhaar Act 2016, “biometric information” means photograph, fingerprint, Iris scan, or any other biological attributes specified by regulations. Thus, it clearly includes biological attributes like voice print and DNA.
If UID/Aadhaar enabled Biometric Attendance System is indeed a “digital equivalent” of “age-old attendance register”, why did NHRC object to radio collar which can also be argued by sophists to be “digital equivalent”. If the “digital equivalent” means biometric equivalent as well then it makes DNA based identity and attendance will also be deemed equivalent to “age-old attendance register”. It is quite evident that such is deeply misleading.
Coincidentally, NHRC’s views on National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 (Aadhaar Bill, 2010) helped Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in its recommendation to trash the Bill and the biometric data based UID/Aadhaar programme.
The fact is that the application of biometric UID/Aadhaar was restricted to ‘civilian application’ and was not meant for defence application. Central Government’s Biometrics Standards Committee had categorically stated that UID/aadhaar’s is meant only for “civilian application” but the order on aadhaar enabled biometric attendance system has been extended to defence employees as well.
 2016- CFCL critiqued the Aadhaar Bill, 2016 which became an Act and came into force in September 2016.
CFCL noted that on 30 November, 2016 NITI Aayog constituted a Committee of Chief Ministers representing different political parties to examine and promote the use of digital payment systems across the country including Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, CEO, NITI Aayog and Nilekani, the former Chairman, UIDAI as a special invitee and Chandra Babu Naidu as Committee’s convener. NITI Aayog has been entrusted with the task of popularizing different modes of digital payment which are currently available viz. Cards, USSD, digital wallets, Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) and Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Other special invitees included likes of Sharad Sharma, Co-founder, iSPIRIT, Janmejaya Sinha, Chairman, Boston Consulting Group and Rajesh Jain, Managing Director, netCORE.
CFCL addressed a 2-days workshop titled “Understanding Aadhaar and Its New Challenges” organized by Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 26-27 May, 2016 deliberated on how the JAM Number Trinity– Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile numbers— is a fish bait to trap unsuspecting citizens into the world’s biggest transnational biometric database.
Responding to letters of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) to Chief Justice of India, Union Minister of Human Resource Development and Secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC) and contempt applications in the Supreme Court, UGC has “clarified that any student who have applied or wishing to apply for scholarship/fellowship shall not be denied benefit thereof due to non availability of Aadhaar No./Card.”  The revised public notice dated September 14, 2016 is available  HERE.
CFCL had sent the attached letters on August 26, 2016, July 12, 2016 and 2nd July, 2016 drawing their attention towards order dated 15.10.2015 passed by the Supreme Court of India in the ‘UID/Aadhaar’ matter, i.e. Justice (retd.) K.S. Puttuswamy v. UOI & Ors., WP (C) No. 494/2012 and related petitions. The order is attached for your perusal and consideration. The circular of UGC which is in manifest violation of Hon’ble Court’s order is available HERE.

CFCL wrote to Chief Justice of India on “Why Constitution Bench should urgently hear the 12 Digit Biometric Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number case?” CFCL underlined that September 14, 2016 order of Supreme Court came after the September 12, 2016 the date on which Aadhaar Act 2016 came into force. Therefore, Court’s order will prevail.

2017-CFCL brought to light the fact that during the tenure of Niekani at UIDAI, Yashwant Sinha Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance its Sixty-Ninth Report on the ‘Demands for Grants (2013-14)’ observed, “A provision of Rs. 2,620 crore has been allocated in Budget Estimate (2013-14) for Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and a major part of the budget provision for Rs. 1,040 crore is earmarked for ‘Enrolment Authentication and Updation’, out of which an amount of Rs. 1,000 crore has been earmarked under the head ‘other charges’.” The total budgetary allocations made for UIDAI since its inception upto 31 March 2014 was Rs 5440.30 crores. For the year 2009-10, it was Rs 120 crores. For 2010-11, it was Rs 1,900 crores. For 2011-12, it was Rs 1,470 crores 1,200. For 2012-13, it was 1,758 crores and for 2013-14, it was Rs 2,620.00 crores. For the year 2014-15, the budget estimate was Rs 2,039. The budget estimate of expenditure on the project being implemented by UIDAI was Rs 2,000 crore in 20015-16. For the year 2016-17, the budget estimate was Rs 990 crores (that included 190 crore first supplementary). As of February 2017, UIDAI has incurred a total cumulative expenditure of Rs 8,536.83 crores. This includes undefined “other charges” pointed out by the Parliamentary Committee. Shouldn’t UIDAI provide the details of the expenses incurred under “other charges”? Take the case of the year 2009-10 when the budget estimate was Rs 120 crores. The final expenditure was Rs 26.21 crores. In the year 2015-16 the budget estimate was Rs 2,000 crores but the final expenditure was Rs 1679 crores. In 2016-17, when budget estimate (BE) was Rs 990 crores, the final expenditure is Rs 877.16 crore upto February 2017.
The Parliamentary Committee on Finance has wondered in its report as to why inflated targets were consistently being given. It observed, “the total budgetary allocations made for UIDAI since its inception upto BE 2013-14 is Rs 5440.30 crore, out of which Rs. 2820.30 crore has been utilized upto 31.03.2013 and the remaining amount of Rs. 2620 has been allocated in BE 2013-14. The Ministry have informed that the average cost per card is estimated to range from Rs 100 to Rs 157. Taking the average cost per card to be Rs. 130, the total expenditure for issue of 60 crore cards is estimated to about Rs 7800 crore. Thus, the expected requirement of funds during 2013-14 is Rs. 4979.70 crores, whereas only Rs. 2620 crore has been kept for BE 2013-14, which is thus grossly inadequate.” It is apparent that there is more to it than meets the eye.  
CFCL exposed the factual misrepresentation of Nilekani. When asked about why India chose to go with the UID/Aadhaar model when several countries like France, Britain and Germany have disbanded such identification projects, Nandan Nilekani, a former official of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) replied, “Their purpose was not development, inclusion, saving government money or curbing corruption. How can you compare Aadhaar with the smart card project in some other country? Even I would have disbanded those” in an interview with BusinessLine. His reply is a classic case of outright fibbing, misrepresentation and sophistry. It represents a sample of all the replies UIDAI’s has provided to concerned Indians since its inception.      
Take the case of Britain mentioned by Nilekani,  a 15-page Wipro document, titled 'Does India need a Unique Identity Number?’ cited the example of the United Kingdom's Identity Cards Act, 2006, on page no. 6 to advance the argument for a biometric UID/Aadhaar number in India. If it was not comparable as Nilekani will have us believe, why did Wipro cite Britain’s identification project to make a case for UID/Aadhaar for Indians. 
Wipro’s document is significant because UIDAI and UID/Aadhaar is a product of a 14-page long document titled 'Strategic Vision: Unique Identification of Residents' prepared by Wipro Ltd and submitted to the Processes Committee of the Planning Commission which was set up in July 2006. Its vision statement reads: 'Creating a unique identification system of all residents in the country for efficient, transparent, reliable and effective delivery of various welfare and private services to the common person.' The cover page of the document mentions the National Institute for Smart Government (NISG), Department of Information Technology (now named MeitY-Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), and Wipro Consulting. Admittedly, Wipro was the consultant for the design phase and programme management phase of the pilot UIDAI project. The Hyderabad-based NISG is a not-for-profit company incorporated in 2002 by the Government of India and Nasscom. NISG aims to 'establish itself as an institution of excellence in e-governance and to leverage private sector resources through a public-private-partnership mode in establishing eIndia.'
But when the UK government stopped its biometric National Identity Cards Scheme neither Wipro nor its donors and promoters in the government examined as to why the UK did so and why this decision too is relevant to India. The decision was announced in the British parliament, the same legislature which passed the India Independence Act, 1947.
It must be recalled that under Nilekani’s tenure UIDAI extended “undue favour” to Wipro Ltd. As a consequence UIDAI incurred an avoidable expenditure of Rs.4.92 crore on an annual maintenance contract, according to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India presented to the Parliament. UIDAI also incurred a loss of Rs.1.41 crore by not routing advertisements through the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity. Unmindful of manifest conflict of interest UIDAI had entered into a contract with Wipro in May 2011 for supply, installation and commissioning of servers, storage systems, security systems and accessories with incidental services in the data centres of the authority in Bengaluru and Delhi/NCR at a cost of Rs.134.28 crore.
This is not the only case of irregularity and corruption by UIDAI. It awarded projects to several companies without issuing tenders. In a RTI reply UIDAI itself disclosed that total project contracts worth Rs.13,663.22 crore were awarded without any tenders of which an amount of Rs.6,563 crore has been already spent on issuing 90.3 crore Aadhar cards till May 2015. It also informed that a total 25 companies were awarded different responsibilities for the massive project and their empanelment was done under the process guidelines of Request For Empanelment dated May 19, 2014. The companies which have been awarded more than one project works include: Tata Consultancy Service, Mac Associates, Wipro, HCL, HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd., National Informatics Centre, Sagem Morpho Securities Pvt. Ltd (French Safran Group), Satyam Computer Services Ltd, L1 Identity Solutions (earlier US company now part of Safran Group), Totem International Ltd., Linkwel Telesystems Pvt. Ltd. Sai Infosystems India Ltd, Geodesic Ltd, ID Solutions, NISG, SQTC, Telesima Communications Pvt. Ltd. The companies that were awarded a single contract include: Reliance Communication, Tata Communications, Aircel, Bharati Airtel, BSNL and Railtel Corporation of India Ltd. Notably, companies like Accenture (USA), L1 and Ernst & Young has been given access to sensitive data of present and future Indians.    
When Nilekani was asked about “concerns that the Aadhaar could be used in surveys such as the Socio-economic Caste Census (SECC) for racial profiling, or be linked to EVMs to determine voting patterns”, he gave an evasive reply saying, “The SECC or EVM machines have nothing to do with Aadhaar.”
Election Commission of India on its website has provided answer to a question about the “system of numbering EVMs”, it states “Each Control Unit has a unique ID Number (UID), which is painted on each unit with a permanent marker. This ID Number will be allowed to be noted by the Polling Agents and will also be recorded in a Register maintained for the purpose by the Returning Officer. The address tag attached to the Control Unit also will indicate this ID Number.” A careful perusal of UIDAI documents reveals that it is linked to the electoral database too. A confidential document of UIDAI titled ‘Creating a unique identity number for every resident in India’, leaked by Wikileaks on 13 Nov 2009 reads: “One way to ensure that the unique identification (UID) number is used by all government and private agencies is by inserting it into the birth certificate of the infant. Since the birth certificate is the original identity document, it is likely that this number will then persist as the key identifier through the individual’s various life events, such as joining school, immunizations, voting etc.”
The proponents of world's biggest citizen identification scheme aims to converge electoral photo identity card (EPIC) numbers of electoral database, the UID/Aadhaar number database called Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR). In their myopia, political parties in particular and citizens in general have failed to fathom its ramifications for voting by electors in a democracy. 
In a letter dated 7 June 2011, the Director General and Mission Director of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) wrote to Chief Election Commissioner saying, “The Election Commission of India (ECI) may also like to leverage Aadhaar infrastructure in cleaning/ updating their existing electoral data base. Aadhaar numbers issued by the UIDAI can also be included in the list of valid proof of identity (POI) and proof of address (POA) documents of the Election Commission during the polls for identity verification.” 
The file notings by ECI on the UIDAI’s letter reads: “How can Aadhaar number used as proof of address”. The reply from ECI dated 17 June 2011 on the letter from UIDAI. It further wrote, Aadhaar numbers can be seeded into EPIC and electoral roll databases to clean those databases and also to bring standardisation and uniformity in the Election Commission’s databases across the country. UIDAI does provide necessary technical and financial support under its information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure scheme for integration of Aadhaar number with database of concerned Ministries/ Departments to make them UID compliant. However, the process and schemes to use Aadhaar numbers for their applications are to be defined by the concerned Departments themselves.”  
The notification of 28 January 2009 that set up UIDAI, provides the terms of reference (TOR) for its work. There is no reference to the collation of UID number database with electoral database in the TOR. But the TOR does refer to “collation and correlation with UID and its partner databases.” If this reference to ‘partner database’ included electoral database, the UID/ Aadhaar enrolment form never revealed it and took Indian residents for a ride.    
 Notably, UIDAI was constituted in pursuance of the fourth meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by the then External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherji held on 4 November 2008. Shivraj Patil, the then union home minister and A Raja, the then minister for IT and Communications, HR Bhardwaj, the then law minister and Mani Shankar Aiyar, the then panchayati raj minister, were members of the EGoM wherein Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of Planning Commission was an invitee. 
UIDAI argued, “Aadhaar database is restricted to the name, date of birth, gender, address, facial image, ten fingerprints and iris of the resident. The data fields are based on the recommendation of the Demographic and Data field Verification Committee headed by N Vittal, former chief vigilance commissioner (CVC). Since Aadhaar database contains absolute minimum information of a resident necessary to establish identity, it is not possible to include EPIC numbers in the Aadhaar database. However, the ECI should seed Aadhaar numbers in the electoral database as clarified above. 
Prior to this KM Chandrasekhar, cabinet secretary, Government of India (GoI) wrote a letter dated 25 April, 2011 addressed to VK Bhasin, secretary, legislative department stating, “Aadhaar can be treated as a valid Proof of Identity (PoI) and Proof of Address (PoA).”         
The Election Commission in its letter dated 4 March 2013 to UIDAI on the subject of “Seeding of Aadhaar number in Electoral Database” wrote that “Commission feels that it would be better that EPIC no. is collected at the time of enrollment for Aadhaar  and put in the Aadhaar database…ECI has already issued instructions that Aadhaar cards can be used as alternative identity documents at polling station…It may be mentioned here that Ministry of Home Affairs has also agreed to print EPIC no. on smart card as issued by Registrar General of India…Under the circumstances, it is once again requested that EPIC no. may be made mandatory for enrollment in Aadhaar.”  In its letter dated 29 October 2012, the ECI had argued that “including EPIC no. as mandatory field in UIDAI database would enable better integration between UIDAI database and electoral database, which will make Aadhaar numbers more useful.” This enthusiastic endorsement of illegal UIDAI’s database and its inexplicable eagerness to merge EPIC no. and electoral database with a database that faces robust legal challenge merits rigorous scrutiny.     
In a letter dated 16 April 2012, RK Singh, the then secretary, ministry of home affairs (MHA), currently Union Power Minister wrote to Dr SY Quraishi, the then Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), with reference to latter’s letter dated 4 April 2012 “regarding inclusion of Electoral Photo Identity Card -EPIC number in the Aadhaar database.” 
The secretary, MHA wrote, “The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India is in the process of creating the National Population Register (NPR) in the country. The NPR, when completed will be a register of all usual residents of the country, which would have the Aadhaar number besides the demographic and biometric data. The Government is also considering a proposal to issue Resident Identity (smart) Cards to all usual residents above the age of 18 years. The scheme is already making good progress and is likely to be completed in the next two years.”
The combination of the office of Census Commissioner and RGI creates a legal conflict of interest that is required to be examined because Census Act requires that data of residents of India has to be kept confidential. But RGI created under Citizenship Act admittedly puts the data in public domain.  
Besides this MHA has also feigned ignorance about the illegality of biometric data collection under NPR, a fact pointed out by the then BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. 
At that time, the secretary, MHA also wrote, “As a part of the process of creating the NPR, the EPIC number is also being collected. This would enable mapping of the Aadhaar number to the EPIC number right from the beginning…Once the mapping is completed, there could be a lot of synergy between the EPIC and NPR databases.” He pointed out that “while the registration under the NPR is mandatory under the provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955, the production of EPIC Card during the NPR enrolment and capturing the EPIC number is being done on a voluntary basis from the residents. There are, therefore, gaps in the collection of the numbers. The gap can easily be bridged as the Authorities notified for the creation of the NPR are the same as those notified under the Electoral Law and if necessary instructions are issued by the Election Commission, they could easily ensure a complete coverage.”   
It is intriguing as to how Election Commission has failed to comprehend the adverse consequences of such convergence. There is nothing in public domain to suggest that implications of such merger have been examined.     
The then secretary, MHA informed the CEC that there is mutual agreement between the MHA’s RGI and ECI that “there is a considerable potential to synchronise the two databases and set up a unified platform for future updating of the same and sought CEC’s advice to take it forward. Does the Election Commission realize that synchronization of the two databases is happening as per the design of Wipro’s document and is beyond the mandate given to UIDAI and RGI? 
As a consequence of Supreme Court’s order, Election Commission of India has revised its order dated 27 February 2015 on 13 August 2015 stopping merger of UID/Aadhaar with Voter ID. Its revised order reads: “All further activities relating to collection/feeding/seeding of Aadhaar Number being undertaken currently under NERPAP shall be suspended with immediate effect till further directions from the Commission. In other words, henceforth no more collection of Aadhaar Numbers from electors or feeding/seeding of collected Aadhaar data shall be done by any election authority or officials connected with the NERPAP.” (National Electoral Rolls Purification & Authentication Programme). While this revised order of the Election Commission is a model order as it demonstrates how to comply with the Court’s order for all the organisations and other public and private agencies which are implementing UID/Aadhaar related schemes and systems. The fact remains the seeding of UID/Aadhaar and Voter ID did happen while the previous order of Commission regarding National Electoral Rolls Purification & Authentication Programme was in operation given the fact that it was widely advertised. 
It may recalled that one of the earliest documents that refer UIDAI is a 14-page long document titled ‘Strategic Vision: Unique Identification of Residents’ prepared by Wipro Ltd for the Planning Commission envisaged the close linkage that the UIDAI’s Aadhaar would have with the electoral database. The use of electoral database mentioned in Wipro’s document remains on the agenda of the proponents of Aadhaar.  
The reply of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) dated 1 April 2014 transferring the right to information (RTI) application to Election Commission seems to indicate that linkage of UIDAI with the Commission has already been established.  
In such a backdrop, PMO’s reluctance to share all the file documents and correspondence relating to Nilekani and right up to his resignation appears quite sensitive and deserves scrutiny.
Nilekani referred to the current “three-member UIDAI Committee under J Satyanarayana, the former IT secretary”. Satyanarayana is currently a part time Chairman of UIDAI since September 6, 2016. He has been on Board of NISG. Notably, Satyanarayana has been the member of the Task Force for preparation of Policy Document on Identity and Access Management under National e-Governance Programme (NeGP). This Task Force was constituted by Office Memorandum dated 31 October, 2006, which was supposed to submit its report by 25 December 2006.  Coincidentally, the Processes Committee of the Planning Commission which was set up in July 2006 commissioned the task of preparing “Strategic Vision: Unique Identification of Residents” to Wipro Ltd during the same period. The other members of the Task Force included 34 members besides the Chairman, Dr S.I. Ahson, Professor & Head, Department of Computer Science, Jamila Milia Islamia and the Member Secretary, Ms Pratibha Lokhande, Scientist, National Informatics Centre. The members included 11 Technology Solutions Providers namely, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Computer Associates, Novell, Honeywell, HP, Red Hat, ILANTUS Technologies, MPhasis and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The Task Force submitted version 7 of its 65 page long report in April 2007.
This report talked about “Citizen Identities” and “Owner of identities”. This report states, “The Identity Information is stored by multiple agencies in multiple documents like Ration card, Driving License, Passport, Voter’s card, Birth Certificate etc. The purpose of the Project unique ID (UID) initiated by the Planning Commission is to create a central database of resident information and assign a Unique Identification number to each such resident (Citizens and Persons of Indian Origin) in the country….The appropriate Identity Aggregations and Synchronization should be used to integrate systems to share their identity information.” This April 2007 report reveals that “National UID Project: This project has been initiated, with Voter ID Numbers and BPL households in the first instance.” It is evident that long before the arrival of Nilekani in July 2009 as Chairman of UIDAI, the UID/Aadhaar project was already unfolding. He just came and dishonestly claimed credit for it. This report also discloses that each registered judicial court has a unique identification (UID) number at Sub ordinate Courts, High Court and Supreme Court. This effort seems to be part of profiling and surveillance of judicial institutions.
Notably, this report appears to be making one of the earliest references to “Biometric authentication” in India as “any process that validates the identity of a user who wishes to sign into a system by measuring some intrinsic characteristic of that user. Biometric samples include fingerprints, retina scans, face recognition, voiceprints, and even typing patterns. Biometric authentication depends on measurement of some unique attribute of the user. They presume that these user characteristics are unique, that they may not be recorded and reproductions provided later, and that the sampling device is tamper-proof.”
It defines biometrics as “A measure of an Attribute of a Natural Person’s physical self, or of their physical behavior. In principle at least, a Biometric can be used: to validate an entity (where the entity is a Natural Person); as an Authenticator for an Assertion involving an Entity; and as a means of restricting the use of a personalised Token to the appropriate Natural Person. Examples include: fingerprint, voiceprint, and iris-scan. Biometrics is generally, “the study of measurable biological characteristics. In computer security, biometrics refers to authentication techniques that rely on measurable physical characteristics that can be automatically checked. There are several types of biometric identification schemes: Face: the analysis of facial characteristics; Fingerprint: the analysis of an individual's unique fingerprints; Hand geometry: the analysis of the shape of the hand and the length of the fingers; Retina: the analysis of the capillary vessels located at the back of the eye; Iris: the analysis of the colored ring that surrounds the eye's pupil; Signature: the analysis of the way a person signs his name; Vein: the analysis of pattern of veins in the back if the hand and the wrist; Voice: the analysis of the tone, pitch, cadence, and frequency of a person's voice.”
This report defines “Identification” as “The process whereby data is associated with a particular Identity. It is performed through the acquisition of data that constitutes an Identifier for that identity.” It also defines “Identifier” as “One or more data-items concerning an Identity that are sufficient to distinguish it from other Identities, and that are used to signify that Identity. Identifiers include names. A natural person may use more than one name, and variants of each name. Identifiers also include ‘id numbers’ or ‘id codes’ issued by other Entities that the Entity interacts with. An Entity may be assigned many such numbers and codes. A legal person may have many names (e.g. associated with business units, divisions, branches, trading names, trademarks and brand names), and multiple ‘id numbers’ and ‘id codes’ assigned by other Entities that the Entity interacts with. Identifier Unique pointer, within a certain context (namespace) to an identity.” These definitions are significant because they underline that UID/Aadhaar is an identifier and not a conventional identity proof.
Satyanarayana who was the member of the Task Force that authored the above mentioned report finds mention at page no. 46-47 of the report Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology that examined the work of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, asked about the surveillance by National Security Agency (NSA) of the US. It states that in the context of privacy of data, the Committee desired to know the Department’s stand on the issue of surveillance by US and interception of data sent through e-mails. To this, Satyanarayana, as Secretary, DeitY, responded during the evidence as under:-“Sir, about the US surveillance issue, there has been a debate, as you are aware, this morning in the Rajya Sabha itself and the hon. Minister has addressed this issue. He also emphasised that as far as the Government data and Government mails are concerned, the policy, the copy of which I have given to the Committee earlier, is going to address a large part of it. Hopefully, by the end of this year, if it is implemented, the things will be absolutely safe and secure…x.x.x.x…In the reply, the Hon. Minister also said that we have expressed our serious concern about the reported leakages and in the name of surveillance, the data that has been secured from various private sources, internet resources by the US Government. We have expressed it formally to the Government of the US and also during the Secretary of State’s visit a few weeks ago in India, this has been reinforced on a person to person basis.”
He added, “We have been assured that whatever data has been gathered by them for surveillance relates only to the metadata. It has been reiterated and stated at the highest level of the US President that that only the metadata has been accessed, which is, the origin of the message and the receiving point, the destination and the route through which it has gone, but not the actual content itself. This has been reiterated by them, but we expressed that any incursion into the content will not be tolerated and is not tolerable from Indian stand and point of view. That has been mentioned very clearly and firmly by our Government.”
In effect, the Government of India has formally communicated to Government US that India has no problem if they conduct surveillance for metadata in fact it is acceptable and tolerable but “incursion into the content will not be tolerated and is not tolerable.”
The Parliamentary Committee observes, “While taking note of the Department’s stand on the recent instances of surveillance and interception of data (though only meta-data) by other countries, that incursion into the content of the country’s data will not be tolerated, the Committee is of the strong opinion that the Department should have exercised enough caution so that such a situation was not allowed to occur at the first instance. Further, the Committee feels that the Department should be extremely vigilant and cautious in terms of safety as well as in terms of policy with different countries so as to avoid such leakage and interception of sensitive data in the name of surveillance. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends the Department to take remedial measures and come out with a policy which should be implemented stringently so as to obviate recurrence of such instances.” MeitY which has been formed by giving the status of ministry to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has been misleading the State Governments, media and the citizens. It must be remembered that the idea of UID was incubated in this very Department. It is evident that Satyanarayana and this Department has no problem in sharing meta data of Indians to foreign agencies.
Nilekani refers to Vijay Madan who was the UIDAI CEO. Notably, Madan made false claims in a presentation titled “Digital ID for Benefit and Service Delivery to Billion Plus People” in the ‘Special Session on National ID Programs’ at the International Joint Conference on Biometrics held during 29th September – 2nd October 2014 at Clearwater, Florida, USA. He claimed that “Security and Privacy of personal information ensured” by UIDAI in its implementation of UID/Adhaar project. This claim is an exercise in misrepresentation.
Given the fact that some 91,000 of USA’s classified pages reached the website of Wikileaks in August 2010 reveals that such claims of security and privacy are mere empty claims with no privacy law in the country. The Ministry of Planning, the nodal ministry for UID/aadhaar informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee that concerns sharing of data, surveillance and profiling is being addressed by a proposed legislation on privacy. The committee observed that the enactment of such data protection law is a “pre-requisite for any law that deals with large-scale collection of information from individuals and its linkages across separate databases.” This promised law has not been enacted till date. Notably, till date there is no data protection and privacy protection law in the country. Thus, the claim of UIDAI and Nilekani remains a bogus claim.
Nilekani forgot mention the name of his first Mission Director. It is relevant to observe that the letterhead of the UIDAI’s Director General under Nilekani, Ram Sewak Sharma revealed his personal email ID as The question is who authorized the UIDAI’s Director General to use Google’s email account? Is it the case that UIDAI does have its own email account? After relinquishing his post at UIDAI to join as Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand, did Sharma surrender his email ID to UIDAI? Currently, Sharma is the Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Prior to this assignment, he worked as the Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology after his tenure as Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand where is promoted UID/Aadhaar project enthusiastically using the same Google’s email account. UIDAI officials, Nilekani and Sharma were/are privy to massive trove of communications about the inner workings of the world’s biggest biometric database project aimed at creating a Centralized Identities Data Repository (CIDR) of all the UID/Aadhaar Numbers and related aspects of nation’s diplomacy, national security and personal sensitive information of present and future Indians. The email accounts of Nilekani and Sharma must be investigated to ascertain all the locations around the world from which it has been accessed especially in the light of disclosures about the controversy surrounding use of private email account by Hillary Clinton who began using it as “a matter of a convenience" disregarding the advice of tech experts who didn’t allow personal email accounts to be installed on government-issued devices. Her official communications included thousands of emails that would retroactively be marked classified by the US State Department. This issue was raised vociferously by Donald Trump, the President of USA because it compromised USA’s national security. 
The fact that one of the senior most official of UIDAI chose to receive such sensitive information on the server of Google, a private company, is a threat to national security and privacy of Indians. This company is regulated by US laws and has been working in collusion with foreign intelligence agencies. The authorities in the US, where Gmail is headquartered, can legally access the information on the server of Google without a court warrant and without any civil and criminal liability. The Indian government will remain in dark about it. In fact US’ Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) make the exchange of electronic information between Internet Service Providers and the government of US possible. The use of Gmail account demonstrates the lack of professionalism of UIDAI, which has been given the task of handling the database of the personal sensitive information of Indians. This act of omission and commission merits attention. Such gullibility of ministers, Secretaries and Chief Secretaries besides other IAS and IPS officers in particular and officials in general is inexcusable. This merits high level probe. 
Nilekani also refers to Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the current CEO of UIDAI. Pandey claimed that “At least from the UIDAI side, we have not said it shall be mandatory.” If it indeed true that UID/Aadhaar is not being made mandatory by UIDAI then MeitY should have withdrawn the letter to Secretary Department of Defence Production and other departments, agencies and State Governments. Given the fact that he has not done so demonstrates that articulations of UIDAI are equivocal and questionable. It has compromised national security and the personal sensitive information of present and future Presidents, Prime Ministers, judges, legislators and officials handling sensitive assignments besides all the Indians.
Contrary to the claims of the promoters of biometric Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar like Nandan Nilekani that “Millions of people without any ID, now have an ID”, the fact is that of all the Aadhaar numbers issued to Indian residents till date – 99.97 per cent had pre-existing identification (ID) documents. This has been revealed in a reply to an application under Right to Information (RTI) Act by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The enclosed reply reveals that out of the 83.5 crore UID/Aadhaar numbers issued till then, only 2.19 lakh residents (0.03 per cent) have been given numbers based on the introduction by the introducer system because they did not have a  pre-existing ID. This proves that that ‘an inability to prove identity” has not a major barrier to access benefits and subsidies.
Contrary to claims of the promoters of UID/Aadhaar about there being a cumulative saving of 50,000 crores that was being diverted from genuine beneficiaries, as per the minutes of the meeting of Committee of Secretaries (CoS) held under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary on 23 November, 2015 on the subject of “Implementation of DBT in Government Schemes”, there was an annual subsidy saving of Rs 91 crore. DBT stands for Direct Benefits Transfer. The minutes of the meeting is dated November 30, 2015.
Notably, when Nilekani was asked about conflict of interest between his role as an investor and his role as head of UIDAI at Rajendra Mathur Memorial Lecture in New Delhi by journalists, he responded saying that he recuses himself while signing of the contract happens. Notably, he is a investor and he has invested in starts up like Railyatri, Disha Medical Services, Juggernaut, Mubble Networks, Fortigo, P2SME, Axiom Consulting, Systemantics India, 10i Commerce, Sedemac Mechatronics, Tracxn and LetsVenture.    
A situation has emerged although citizens chose a government that is supposed to represent them but their government is undertaking the task of coercively biometrically authenticating whether or not those it represents are indeed those who they claim to be. It ends up breaking the sacrosanct social contract between the citizen and the State in an unprecedented act of breach of trust. The attempt to undertake convergence of all the sensitive databases of Indians and the confidence of promoters of UID/Aadhaar in the irreversibility of their efforts has thrown as yet an unmet open political challenge to the opposition parties and informed citizens.   
CFCL critiqued the Finance Act 2017 that made linking of UID/Aadaar with PAN mandatory for filing income tax returns. CFCL highlighted how it implied that UID/Aadhaar is not mandatory for all non-PAN purposes. Supreme Court’s order of 9th June, 2017 put a partial stay on mandatory linking of UID/Aadaar with PAN while pointing out that Aadhaar Act does not make Aadhaar mandatory. Court erred in upholding Finance Act without examining it in the light of violation of Article 21. In the light of right to privacy verdict of 24 August, both Aadhaar Act, 2016 and Finance Act, 2017 has come under cloud and appear constitutionally indefensible.         
CFCL has been highlighted misreporting of Supreme Court’s orders by media. It revealed how Govt has manipulated media and subverted public institutions by misleading about legal status of biometric UID Aadhaar Number. The matter related to 12-digit biometric Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar number was mentioned before the 44th Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar headed 3-Judge Bench of Supreme Court on March 27. After hearing the matter the Bench did not pass any order.  The Bench comprised of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul. Senior Counsel for the petitioners, Shyam Divan apprised the Court through the earlier orders wherein UID/Aadhaar matter has been judicially determined to be an urgent matter by the 42nd Chief Justice of India, Justice, H.L. Dattu headed 5-Judge Constitution Bench. The 44th Chief Justice was informed about para 5 of the October 15, 2015 order of the 42nd Chief Justice Constitution Bench because the 3-Judge Bench has never heard the UID/Aadhaar case during September 23, 2013 till date. The next date of hearing is likely to be April 3, 2017.
 The Constitution Bench order reads: “We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other.” Even if the 44th Chief Justice headed 3-Judge Bench had been persuaded to pass or alter the pre-existing order the Bench was not empowered to do so because a 3-Judge Bench cannot overrule or modify a 5-Judge Bench order. Most of the media has misreported the issues related to UID/Aadhaar like the way they have blundered in reporting about The Finance Bill, 2017 wherein the voice of States and citizens has been silenced through an unprecedented assault on federalism and Constitution. Most of media is failed to comprehend the phenomenon of linguistic corruption wherein voluntary means mandatory and anonymity means transparency while reporting about UID/Aadhaar Number and Finance Bill. 
 The media failed to report the Court’s direction saying, “The Union of India shall give wide publicity in the electronic and print media, including radio and television networks, that it is not mandatory for a citizen to obtain the Aadhaar Card” and that “The production of an Aadhaar Card will not be condition for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen” in its order. 
The misreporting has been so widespread that the debate in the Rajya Sabha also dealt with the issue of UID/Aadhaar assuming that there Supreme has indeed passed some order today. On  March 27, both Sitaram Yechury of CPI (M) and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of TMC spoke in the Rajya Sabha under the impression that Court has passed some order today on the subject of UID/Aadhaar because of misreporting by the media and both criticized Government’s insistence on UID/Aadhaar. Notably, this not the first time that TMC and CPIM have joined hands to criticize it in supreme public interest. Both of them together got a unanimous resolution against UID/Aadhaar passed from the West Bengal Assembly seeking compliance with Court’s order. Besides that Satish Chandra Mishra of BSP too endorsed whatever was stated by the TMC MP. Even as Rajya Sabha continues to deliberate on the issue on March 28 and will continue to do so March 29, the misreporting by media about Court’s order has taken its toll.  
 The fact is that the 3-Judge Bench was not even competent to pass any order which could be inconsistent with Constitution Bench’s order.  It remains puzzling as to why concerned lawyers are mentioning the matter before a Bench of inappropriate strength given the fact that as per Court’s order only a Bench of “appropriate strength” i.e. more than 3-Judges is competent to hear it. Shouldn’t the matter be raised before a 5-Judge Bench given the fact that it is the Bench of “appropriate strength” according of Court’s website as of March 27? Is it part of consistent omission on the part of the Supreme Court’s Registry? Or is it an omission on the part of the concerned lawyers?
 Given the fact that some 25 cases against UID/Aadhaar has been clubbed together and given the fact that besides this there is a separate case against Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill, the case is likely to be mentioned again in the coming days. It will be appropriate for the credibility of media to refrain from misreporting on such occasions and stop writing about it unless they have read the Court’s order.     
Not only did most media outlets mislead the citizens, now the Department of Telecommunications,  Ministry of Communications too issued a letter  on the subject of “Implementation of Hon'ble Supreme Court orders regarding 100% E-KYC based re-verification of all existing subscribers” wherein it partially refers to Court’s order sated February 6. The Court’s observation in para 5 reads: “In view of the factual position brought to our notice during the course of hearing, we are satisfied, that the prayers made in the writ petition have been substantially dealt with, and an effective process has been evolved to ensure identity verification, as well as, the addresses of all mobile phone subscribers for new subscribers. In the near future, and more particularly, within one year from today, a similar verification will be completed, in the case of existing subscribers.” The Ministry of Communications will have us believe that 2-Judge Bench’s order will prevail over the 5-Judge Constitution Bench’s order.  Media continues to misreport about the legal status of UID/Aadhaar because the editors are not pay heeding the text of the Court’s orders.  CFCL demands that editors be held accountable for misreporting of written text of Court’s directions. CFCL proposes to undertake content analysis of key defaulters and issue declarations certifying names and organsiations which have been misleading public by reporting without reading the Court’s orders with the help of students of journalism. After the right to privacy verdict it is high time editors compelled their court reporters to read the 547 page long judgment dated 24 August 2017 along with all the orders passed since September 2013 till 27 June 2017 and make sure all the orders are consulted before reporting in the UID/Aadhaar case. 
CFCL addressed a public meeting organized by All India Students Association at Sabaramati hostel, JNU after the right to privacy verdict on the implications of the verdict for the world’s biggest transnational biometric UID/Aadhaar database. It addressed another meeting at Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health, JNU.
Its first article in the seven part series titled Right to Privacy and the Bhagavad Gita has just been published. Earlier, it has authored an unprecedented 40 part series on the subject of biometric identification, surveillance and big data. 
                                                         CFCL has written over 150 articles in Hindi and English on the subject and issued several briefing papers, petitions, public statements and press releases. Most of them are available in public domain. CFCL’s documents its works in its annual journal. It has rigorously archived and documented the goings on related to UID/Aadhaar case in particular. Besides Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, CFCL has engaged with Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation, and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution and others.
During the course of these seven years CFCL has held numerous press conferences, seminars and addressed audiences in New Delhi, Alwar, Ranchi, Chandigarh, Patna, Bhubneshwar, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Raipur and in several universities with several institutions, groups and movements like Indian Social Action Forum, National Alliance for Peoples Movements, PUCL, Deccan Development Society, SRUTI, Centre for Internet Society (CIS), The Fifth Estate and MKSS. It has been part of efforts at getting resolutions and declarations seeking stoppage of UID/Aadhaar and related schemes adopted and passed in several state capitals. CFCL It has assisted several of the 25 petitioners in the Supreme Court and some High Courts.
At present CFCL is busy assisting the victims of UID/Aadhaar. It awaits the hearing on the constitutionality of UID/Aadhaar scheme of 2009, UID/Aadhaar Act, 2016 and Finance Act 2017 by the original 3-Judge Bench as per the order of 9-Judge Constitution Bench. 
                                                          CFCL has briefed over a dozen political parties and several senior leaders about how big data and cyber-biometric technology companies undermine natural and democratic rights. It has critiqued one of the several versions of Human DNA Profiling Bill. It has sent its initial submission to Committee of Experts on data protection framework for India headed by Justice B.N. Shrikrishna. CFCL’s work is journey for the protection of natural rights from its corporal and incorporeal enemies.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Convener, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), E-mail:, Mb: 9818089660, 08227816731, Web:  


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