Monday, October 14, 2013

Ex. HC Justice: Aadhaar infringes on our fundamental right to privacy

'Aadhaar infringes on our fundamental right to privacy'

September 30, 2013

DEEPA KURUP

K.S. Puttaswamy
K.S.Puttaswamy

Former Justice K.S. Puttaswamy, who went to court against the linking of state benefits to the UID scheme, says much money has been wasted on the 'dangerous' project

The Supreme Court order restraining the linking of services and benefits to the 12-digit Aadhaar number has placed in doubt ambitious plans by the Centre and several State governments to make the 'voluntary' Aadhaar scheme mandatory for access to services and subsidies. The order was passed on a writ petition by retired justice of the Karnataka High Court K.S. Puttaswamy, along with two other petitions referred from the Bombay and Madras High Courts. In an interview with The Hindu in Bangalore a day after the Supreme Court verdict, the 88-year-old judge-turned-litigant said this was the first time in his legal career, spanning five decades, that he felt the need to petition the courts. Excerpts:

Why did you choose to move the courts on this issue?

The way the government has gone about implementing this project is odd and illegal. In 2011 [over a year after Aadhaar enrolments commenced in the country] the Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance rejected the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, on several grounds. Yet, the government did not attempt to modify the Bill and bring it back for parliamentary approval. It is not constitutional to simply proceed using an executive order to implement a scheme that has been rejected in this fashion.

What is your fundamental opposition to this project?

Apart from the fact that it does not have Parliament's approval, the project infringes upon our right to privacy, which flows from Article 21 that deals with the fundamental right to life. We are required to part with biometric information, iris and fingerprints, and there is no system to ensure that all this data will be safe and not misused.

My other concern, and I believe this is critical, is that it is easy for anyone to get an Aadhaar number. The enrolment centres are run by private operators so anyone can walk in and get one. This means that [undocumented] immigrants can get one too and that's a clear security threat. Part of the political will for this project stems from this motivation because obviously they [undocumented] immigrants are also a vote bank for some

Many critics of Aadhaar (even those whose petitions are being heard with yours) have focussed on other aspects such as the dangers of making this 'voluntary' scheme a mandatory one for access to crucial services and welfare.

Yes, that is also a point. Why must I get an Aadhaar when I already have a ration card? Even at the recent hearing it has been reported that the government submitted in court that the scheme is voluntary. But everyone knows that today you cannot get your LPG subsidy in Tumkur, and other districts, without this number. So, the right hand says it is voluntary and the left says it is mandatory — then it is a plain lie. They're still taking inconsistent stands and look who is suffering — citizens

The government submits that over Rs.50,000 crore has been spent on the project. It is seeking a review of the SC order. Is it too late to turn back now on this scheme?

No. It is not. That so much has been squandered without analysing the benefits or dangers of this scheme shows a disregard for public money. I think they didn't think this through. In fact, there were voices even within the government that were opposed to it. My understanding is that the Supreme Court is unlikely to allow their review petition.

We'll have to wait and see.


Courtesy_

Sunday, October 13, 2013

நம் பூமி மலட்டு நிலமாவதை தடுக்க உதவுங்கள்


ஒரு நிமிடம் இதையும் படியுங்கள் நண்பர்களே!!! 

நம் பூமி மலட்டு நிலமாவதை தடுக்க உதவுங்கள் சகோதரர்களே!!!! சகோதரிகளே!!! 

அதிகம் பகிர்ந்து நம்கண்முன் நடக்கும் அழிவை மற்றவருக்கும் காட்டுங்கள் சொந்தங்களே!! 

► கிரேட் ஈஸ்டன் எனர்ஜி கார்பரேஷன் லிமிட்டட் என்ற அமெரிக்க நிறுவனம் நம் தமிழ்நாட்டில் மீதேன் வாயு எடுக்க மத்திய அரசிடமும்,மாநில அரசிடமும் அனுமதி பெற்றுள்ளது.. 

► மீதேன் வாயு எடுக்கப்படும் விதமும் அதனால் ஏற்படும் விளைவுகள் மிக மோசமானவை. 

• முதற்கட்டமாக நிலத்தடியிலுள்ள 1500 அடி ஆழத்திலுள்ள நீரை வெளியேற்றி விடுவார்கள்... 

• அதன் காரணமாக நிலத்தடியில் நீரை வெளிஎர்ரியப் பின்னர் அவ்விடத்தில் ஏற்பட்ட வெற்றிடத்தின் காரணமாக அங்கு கடல்நீர் உட்புகுந்துவிடும். 

• நிலத்தடி நீர் உப்பானால் அங்கு விவசாயம் செய்ய முடியாது. 

• குடிப்பதற்கு கூட நீர் இல்லாமல் போகும். 

• பயிர்களும் மரங்களும் கருகி போகும்.. 

► மீதேன் வாயுவை எடுக்க உங்களிடம் அமெரிக்க நிறுவனமான GELCL உங்களிடம் நிலத்தை நாப்பது வருட குத்தகைக்கு கேட்கும். 

► நாப்பது வருடத்திற்கான குத்தகை பணத்தை ஒரே காசோலையில் கொடுத்து விடுவார்கள். 

► நம் நிலம்தான் நாப்பது வருடத்தில் நம் கையிக்கு கிடைத்து விடுமே, அத்துடன் விவசாயம் செய்தாலும் நாப்பது வருடத்தில் இவ்வளவு சம்பாதிக்க முடியாதே என்று ஏமாந்து நீங்களும் நிலத்தை கொடுத்து விடுவீர்கள். 

► நாப்பது வருடத்தில் உங்கள் நிலம் உங்கள் கையிலும் கிடைத்துவிடும் ஆனால் சக்கையாகி,எதற்கும் உதவாத பாலைவன நிலமாகத்தான் அது இருக்கும். 

► ஏற்கனவே ஆற்று நீரும், குளத்து நீரும் இல்லாம போன நிலையில், நிலத்தடி நீரும் இல்லாமல் போய்விடும் 

► எனவே இவர்கள் உங்களிடம் நிலத்தை குத்தகைக்கு கேட்டால் தயவு செய்து கொடுத்துவிடாதீர்கள். 

► நம் எதிர்கால சந்ததியினரை வஞ்சிக்காதீர்.. 

► நம் எதிர சந்ததியினருக்கு நம் பசுமையான தமிழ்நாட்டை விட்டுசெல்வோம் பாலைவனத்தை அல்ல.. 

► ரத்தம் சிந்தி ஈன்றெடுத்த சுதந்திரத்தை மீண்டும் அயல்நாட்டு முதலாளியிடம் அடகு வைத்து விடாதீர்.. 

► மயிலாடுதுறை நண்பர்களே இந்த திட்டம் முதல் கட்டமாக மயிலாடுதுறை சுற்றுப்பகுதியான திருவிடைமருதூர்,நரசிங்கன்பேட்டை உட்பட்ட சில பகுதிகளில் எடுக்கப்பட உள்ளது. நம் நிலம் மலடாவதர்க்கு நீங்களே துணைபோகாதீர்கள் நண்பர்களே.. 

(பிகு) போபால் நிகழ்வை சிந்தித்து பாருங்கள் தோழர்களே.. இதை உங்களுக்கு தெரிந்தவர்களுக்கும் சொல்லி விழிப்புணர்வை ஏற்படுத்துங்கள்.. 

--- I LOVE TAMILNADU ---

Sources: 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NOTA: Article by N.Gopalaswami, former CEC

NOTA small matter, this

October 9, 2013

N. GOPALASWAMI

The Supreme Court's recognition of a negative vote as a constitutional right should be followed by acknowledging it as a rejection of all candidates



The recent NOTA (none of the above) order of the Supreme Court makes for a hat trick of decisions by the judiciary, striking a blow for electoral reforms. The attempt to reverse one of them — to save MPs found guilty of offences that would instantaneously unseat them — was thwarted because of public pressure and the President's reported reluctance to sign the Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance. It is said that nature abhors vacuum. In the face of the government's reluctance to move ahead in bringing meaningful electoral reforms, the courts have had to intervene wherever they could to give some push to the reforms and to restore the public's faith in the system.

Government's failure

The NOTA case is a classic example of the government's failure to do the right thing at the right time. The Election Commission of India (ECI) moved the Law Ministry in 2001 for an amendment to the rules to provide for a button in electronic voting machines in order to protect the identity and secrecy of a voter who does not want to vote for any candidate. That was the equivalent of the unmarked ballot paper of the earlier era. The ECI received no response to the proposal for amending the said rule, although the Minister in charge needed neither the Union Cabinet's nod nor Parliament's assent. In 2004, the then Chief Election Commissioner, T.S. Krishnamurthy, reiterated the proposal after christening the button as 'none of the above' but, for the first time, clearly articulating that it was to "to enable a voter to reject all the candidates, if he chooses so." By then, the PUCL had already moved the Supreme Court in the matter. The case came up for hearing in 2009 but in the intervening years the protagonists for the 'no vote' button had raised the pitch claiming for it the attribute of 'rejection' of candidates which it is not, at least not yet. Presently, it will only enable a voter not to vote in favour of any candidate. So the votes recorded against this button will have the same fate as the 'invalid' votes of the ballot paper era and would have no role in determining the winner. With EVMs, the 'invalid vote' category got eliminated as mistakes like wrong marking and multiple marking became a thing of the past. Now, with this button that column will come back to life.

If that be so, is it not a minor matter, a storm in a tea cup? To answer it, one should look closely at some pronouncements of the Supreme Court in this case. It is worthwhile to note that by the time the matter came up in the Supreme Court in 2009, the government had understood the potential of this button to create a 'negative' impact in the short run, leading to the demand for a right to reject candidates and seek fresh elections.

The government, therefore, reacted strongly — it sought to get the petition dismissed outright arguing that since the right to vote was not a constitutional right but only a statutory right, the petition filed under Article 32 was not maintainable and so should be thrown out. This led to further delay in the disposal of the petition as it awaited the constitution of a larger bench. The Supreme Court verdict has arrived almost a decade after the petition was filed, in favour of the NOTA button but with far-reaching consequences.

Wider choice for voters

The reactions to this order have been varied. Some have chosen to describe it "as a minor issue," pointing out to the lack of action to carry out comprehensive electoral reforms. Some have welcomed it as it may increase voter turnout, an aspect which the Supreme Court judges also pointed out. Some have felt that it will make parties more responsible, which will nominate better candidates. The judges themselves pointed out that it can widen participation and curb impersonation. A careful reading of the judgment indicates that the judges strove to make this happen through some deft side-stepping and innovative interpretation of past judgments of the Supreme Court and provisions of the Constitution, on the nature of the right to vote, with the sole objective of giving the voter a wider choice.

To quote from the verdict: "Democracy is about choice. This choice can be better expressed by giving the voters an opportunity to verbalise themselves unreservedly and by imposing least restrictions on their ability to make such a choice." The Supreme Court was emphatic that the no vote option "gives the voter the right to express his disapproval with the kind of candidates that are being put up by the political parties." Going further, the judges declared that the "provision of negative voting would be in the interests of promoting democracy."

This seemingly innocuous judgment to add a button to the EVM may sound very plebian but the skilfully worded order has put a seal of approval on the distinction made between the right to vote, which it confirmed was a statutory right, and the act of exercising that right by the casting of a vote which it confirmed as a constitutional right as enshrined in Article 19(1)(a), the right to freedom of speech and expression. It then a added a constitutional lustre to 'negative voting' by declaring "not allowing a person to cast vote negatively defeats the very freedom of expression and the right ensured in Article 21, i.e., the right to liberty."

The Supreme Court's recognition of "negative voting" as a constitutional right is by all means a giant step forward for the voter. Civil society has thus won an important and vital point. From here the next logical step will be one of raising the status of the button to that of "negative vote" with consequences, in other words a vote for 'rejection' of all candidates, instead of its current status of merely being "no vote or negative vote." This step would inevitably have to follow if political parties do not see the writing on the wall and belie the expectation that NOTA "will indeed compel the political parties to nominate a sound candidate," as the Supreme Court said.

If parties keep imposing tainted candidates on voters or, while selecting candidates, pay scant regard to their performance or integrity, the electorate can hit back with NOTA. A time will come with demands for fresh election with a fresh set of candidates if, in the first election, NOTA scores the highest votes. If that happens, even if the lawmakers are reluctant, the Supreme Court may not be unsympathetic given the contours of this judgment. With 12 crore first time voters who will have NOTA before them in the coming election to Parliament, the stage is set for the electorate to challenge political parties' commitment to decriminalising the legislative bodies. A comprehensive electoral reform is the need of the hour but if the political class keeps dragging its feet, courts may be willing to clean the Augean stables. For their part, those who moved the Supreme Court in this matter and other civil society organisations would do well to educate voters of the power the court has placed in their hands and let the button beep louder and speak for them. NOTA will not remain a small matter for long.

(The writer is former Chief Election Commissioner of India)

Courtesy_


Cartoon Sources: http://www.thehindu.com

Friday, October 4, 2013

RBI extended deadline for withdrawal of old format cheques

Existing cheque clearing arrangement will continue till year end: RBI

Priya Nair  |  Mumbai  July 16, 2013 

Despite July 31 deadline for withdrawal of old format cheques, many such cheques still being presented for clearing

Non-CTS-2010 cheques (Cheque Truncation System) will continue to be cleared even after the deadline of July 31, 2013. However, banks must continue to make efforts to withdraw the non-CTS-2010 standard cheques in circulation, said the Reserve Bank of India, in a notification issued on Tuesday.

The deadline for the withdrawal of non-CTS-2010 standard cheques is July 31, 2013 and banks have begun to issue fresh cheques in the CTS-2010 complaint format. But there is still a large volume of non-CTS-2010 format cheques being presented in image-based clearing, the RBI said. Hence, the existing clearing arrangements will continue till December 31, 2013.

New clearing arrangements will be put into effect with effect from January 1, 2014,  in the three CTS centres – Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi - for clearing of non-CTS 2010 instruments. This separate clearing session will initially operate thrice a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), up to April 30, 2014.

Thereafter, the frequency of such separate sessions will be reduced to twice a week up to October 31, 2014 (Monday and Friday) and further to weekly once (Monday). If the day for clearing non-CTS-2010 instruments falls on a holiday, then these cheques will be presented on the previous working day. Operational instructions in this regard will be issued separately by the CTS centers, said RBI.

In view of the proposed arrangement for clearing of such instruments at less frequent intervals, banks must educate their customers of the likely delay in realisation of non-CTS-2010 standard cheques, the RBI said. The banks' Cheque Collection Policies (CCPs) Must also be modified to reflect this change. Banks must also make arrangement for handling customer complaints, if any, arising out of this new arrangement.

Courtesy_

Also read the related stories

Non-CTS-2010 cheques to be cleared till Dec 31: RBI

India Infoline News Service/ 11:15 , Jul 17, 2013

In March, the timeline for withdrawal of residual non-CTS-2010 standard cheques was extended up to July 31, 2013

Non-CTS-2010 cheques (Cheque Truncation System) will continue till December 31, 2013,the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.

While banks have begun to issue fresh cheques in the CTS-2010 format, there is still a large volume of non-CTS-2010 format cheques being presented in image-based clearing.

In March, the timeline for withdrawal of residual non-CTS-2010 standard cheques was extended up to July 31, 2013.

Accordingly, the central bank has decided to put in following arrangements for clearing of residual non-CTS-2010 standard cheques. 

Separate clearing session will be introduced in the three CTS centers (Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi) for clearing of such residual non-CTS 2010 instruments (including PDC and EMI cheques) from January 1, 2014. This separate clearing session will initially operate thrice a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) up to April 30, 2014. Thereafter, the frequency of such separate sessions will be reduced to twice a week up to October 31, 2014 (Monday and Friday) and further to weekly once (every Monday) from November 1, 2014 onwards. 

Banks may educate and notify their customers of the likely delay in realisation of non-CTS-2010 standard instruments in view of proposed arrangement for clearing of such instruments at less frequent intervals, the RBI said in a notification on Tuesday. 

During the transition period (i.e. up to December 31, 2013), the existing clearing arrangements will continue and all cheque issuing banks are advised to make efforts to withdraw the non-CTS-2010 Standard Cheques in circulation.

It is further advised that the volume of instruments processed in the three CTS Centers in all clearing sessions will be monitored with respect to the non-CTS-2010 instruments presented by banks. RBI may consider levying penalty on drawee banks (and presenting banks where necessary) which violate the instructions issued under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.

Courtesy_

Also view the related links

For Downloading RBI Circular regarding extending the Deadline for withdrawal of old format cheques at: http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/notification/PDFs/CTSAJ160713.pdf 

For Downloading "Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007" at: http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publications/PDFs/86706.pdf


Wiki Article about Cheque Truncation System at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheque_truncation_system

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