India is passing through one of the “Most Dangerous Periods” for Civil Liberties and Human Rights Protections. No time in the past Indian Citizens were so “Vulnerable” to Human Rights Violations and blatant violation of their Fundamental Rights.
The Constitution of India has conferred many Fundamental Rights upon Indian Citizens and Persons. However, Indian Government is acting in clear “Derogation” of these Fundamental Rights and Human Rights.
Article 21 of Indian Constitution confers Privacy Rights in India to all. Similarly, Article 21 also confers Right to Life and Liberty to all that cannot be taken away except by “Due Process of Law”. Articles 14, 19 and 21 collectively protect against “Arbitrary and Unconstitutional State Actions”.
Despite all these “Protections and Rights” we have Authorities like Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that is not governed by any Law whatsoever. Similarly, we have provisions pertaining to National Population Register (NPR) of India that are clearly “Unconstitutional”.
We have no dedicated Data Protection Laws in India, Data Security Laws in India, Cyber Security Laws in India, etc. Even the Cyber Law of India, incorporated in the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000), is an “Endemic E-Surveillance Enabling Law” that requires urgent “Repeal”.
Cyber Security in India is also in bad shape and even the Supreme Court of India has chided Indian Government to boost up its Cyber Security to protect National Security of India. National Security and Right to Information in India are on “Crossroads” where the “National Security Card” is very frequently played by Indian Government to deny “Legitimate and Eligible Information” to Indian Citizens.
In all this “Political and Legislative Mess” we have a “Bonus” for Indian Government as well. The Parliamentary Oversight of Intelligence Agencies of India is missing and they are “Not Accountable” to any “Legislative and Parliamentary Scrutiny”. Intelligence related Projects like National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), Central Monitoring System (CMS) of India, proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India, etc have no Parliamentary Approval and Oversight.
There is no second opinion that collection of “Highly Sensitive Biometric Details” by any Governmental Agency or Authority in such circumstances is not only “Unconstitutional” but is also “Highly Risky” for Life and Liberty of Indian Citizens/Persons. In fact, collection of Biometric Details by UIDAI and NPR are clearly “Unconstitutional and Illegal” and Indian Citizens and Residents can “Refuse” to provide the same no matter what these Authorities and Laws say.
Human Rights Protection in India is at its nadir. Similarly, Civil Liberties Protection in Indian Cyberspace is in doldrums. If we keep on succumbing to the “Pressure Tactics” of Indian Government, the day would be not far when Indian Government would have complete control over our “Body and Soul”.
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