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Kerala HC Issues Notice To UIDAI, IT Ministry Over Plea By Police For Disclosure Of Aadhaar Biometric Data

The investigating officer told the court that the police had run out of options to identify the culprit other than matching fingerprints with the Aadhaar database.

The Kerala High Court on November 23 issued a notice to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the IT Ministry regarding a plea by an investigating officer to compare biometric data obtained by him with the Aadhaar database to identify the person, according to a Livelaw report. The investigating officer from Wayanad reached the court seeking an order to the UIDAI to compare the sample fingerprint, alleged to be of the accused, with the seeded biometric data to reveal the culprit's identity to the police. The officer said they had exhausted other means of identification and that comparing Aadhaar biometric data was the only way to establish the culprit’s identity. However, the officer’s request letter to the UIDAI asking for the same was rejected because Section 33 of the Aadhaar Act permitted disclosure of information only through a court order. The matter will be heard next on December 4, 2023. What does the Aadhaar Act say? Section 33(1) of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, says that disclosure of information in certain cases, including identity information or authentication records, shall be pursuant to an order of a court, that’s not inferior to that of an HC judge. Further, the court cannot issue such an order without giving an opportunity of hearing to the Authority i.e. the UIDAI and the concerned Aadhaar number holder. Importantly, Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act strictly states that the core biometric information of an Aadhaar holder cannot be used for any purpose, including for law…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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