In a setback to the investigating agencies, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) not to share any information of the Aadhar card holder with any government agency.
The court also made it clear that Aadhar cannot be made mandatory for public services and directed the Central government to withdraw its orders making Aadhar mandatory for people for availing any government services.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice BS Chauhan passed an interim order while hearing the UIDAI's plea challenging the Bombay High Court order allowing CBI to examine if its biometric database can be used in criminal investigation.
A Goa court had asked the UIDAI to give the CBI biometrics of all residents enrolled with Aadhaar in the state to help solve the gang-rape of a seven-year-old girl as the database — which includes recording of fingerprints, iris and facial images of applicants — is supposed to be devoid of duplication and tamper-proof.
Aggrieved by this order, the UIDAI moved Bombay High Court and claimed validation of the magistrate's order will open the floodgates of such directives by other courts as well other authorities.
The high court noted that the UIDAI has agreed to test the competence of its database in comparing the chance fingerprints with its biometric record. The high court also asked the director general of the Central
Forensic Science Laboratory to examine the technological capabilities of the UIDAI database.
Terming the high court's order as "erroneous," the UIDAI has moved the apex court.
The UIDAI said sharing information with other agencies would violate a person's right to privacy since the current data-sharing policy and guidelines clearly provides that biometric data cannot be shared without the consent of the resident.