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Aadhaar: Searching Database with Fingerprints Not Possible, UIDAI Admits Before the Bombay HC

Despite the claims, media stories and myth created about help find missing person by matching fingerprints, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), admitted before the Bombay High Court that searching Aadhaar database using latent chance fingerprints is not technologically feasible In an order issued on 12 October 2018, Justice VK Jadhav from the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court, noted, It has been specifically explained that the UIDAI does not collect biometric information i.e. based on technologies, standards or procedures suitable for forensic purposes. Thus, the matching of the finger prints without mentioning Aadhaar card is not feasible and even the system cannot respond to it. The case is related to identifying a dead woman whose body was found at Daulatabad in Aurangabad district.

Since the investigating officer (IO) could not identify the dead woman, he filed an application before the District and Session Court seeking permission to compare fingerprints in Aadhaar database. UIDAI’s deputy directed filed his reply, after which the Additional Sessions Judge dismissed the petition. The investigating officer then decided to approach the high court VM Kagne, counsel for the IO submitted that the application filed by the IO is not any adversarial litigation against Aadhaar or UIDAI. IO is seeking help of the Aadhaar authorities to establish the identity of a dead body of a woman. BB Kulkarni, counsel for UIDAI informed the court that at present in all there are more than 122 crore Aadhaar cardholders in the country and technological architecture of UIDAI does not allow matching of the fingerprints without mentioning Aadhaar number. The *HC then dismissed the application filed* by the IO.

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