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Not possible to use biometrics to identify bodies: UIDAI

‘Matching done on 1:1 basis and Aadhaar number is needed’

November 12, 2018 10:19 pm | Updated 10:19 pm IST - New Delhi

A woman submitting her fingerprints for the Aadhaar registration process.

A woman submitting her fingerprints for the Aadhaar registration process.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) told the Delhi High Court on Monday that it was technically not possible to match the fingerprints of an unidentified body with the biometrics of 120 crore people stored in its database.

The UIDAI submitted that matching of biometrics, including fingerprints and iris, is done on a 1:1 basis and Aadhaar number is required for it.

HC’s poser

A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao asked the UIDAI to bring on record the details explaining the system as to why it was not possible to match the fingerprints in such cases with the Aadhaar database.

The court was hearing a petition filed by social activist Amit Sahni seeking a direction to the Centre and the UIDAI to utilise Aadhaar biometrics to identify unidentified bodies.

The court also sought the reply of the National Crime Records Bureau, and listed the matter for February 5.

The petition has sought a direction to the Centre, the UIDAI, the NCRB and all States to scan biometrics of unidentified bodies and process them with Aadhaar portal to trace any pre-existing biometric details.

Mr. Sahni, an advocate, submitted that it was possible to use Aadhaar biometrics to identify the dead, and even missing persons were traced through Aadhaar.

The UIDAI counsel said that for matching biometrics, it required prints of all the fingers, iris scan and if they go by only one thumb print scanning, there are chances that it would match with multiple persons.

Special courts

The petition has sought directions to constitute special courts for speedy disposal of cases pertaining to unidentified dead bodies under the Aadhaar Act on the same day or the next day, irrespective of holiday.

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