Thursday, February 12, 2015

Digital Locker Is A Legal Project Based Upon Illegal Technology Named Aadhaar: Praveen Dalal

Modi Government has recently launched a beta version of the digital locker facility. This may be an attempt on the part of the Government to show its progress especially in the direction of fulfilling Digital India dream. However, not everything is smooth and legal in the digital locker project.

On a closer analysis, it becomes apparent that digital locker relies upon illegal and unconstitutional technology popularly known as Aadhaar. Till the time of writing of this article, Aadhaar project is not supported by any legal framework and is clearly violating the civil liberties and fundamental rights of Indian masses.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and leading techno legal expert of Asia, there is no doubt about the utility of Digital Locker project as it can save tremendous time, energy and resources. Its users would be spared from the troubles of showing again and again the certificates and documents in question. Further, chances of manipulation and forgery of such documents and certificates would also be lowered.

However, the moment Digital Locker is made dependent upon Aadhaar, it becomes a “Controversial and Unconstitutional” Project. This is more so when Aadhaar is the sole criteria to avail the service that is also in violation of the Supreme Court’s directions (PDF), opines Dalal. In short, Digital Locker Is a Legal Project Based upon Illegal Technology named Aadhaar, concludes Dalal.

As the matter is presently pending before the Supreme Court of India, it would only be wise and constitutionally required to declared Aadhaar project unconstitutional. The truth is that Aadhaar project in its present form has no welfare element but is purely an e-surveillance project that needs to be declared unconstitutional immediately. Neither Aadhaar nor Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has the legal status that can justify their existence at the expense of scarce financial resources.