The Unique Identification Authority of India told the Madras High Court on Friday that it could not share former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s thumb print as there was a statutory bar on such information, The Hindu reported.
The Unique Identification Authority of India had obtained Jayalalithaa’s thumb print to issue her an Aadhaar. The authority was replying to an order from the High Court directing it and the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru to submit her thumb impressions to confirm that their use on election documents in 2016 were legal.
The trial pertains to a petition that had questioned if Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression on the nomination form of AK Bose, a candidate for the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam who was contesting bye-elections in November 2016, was genuine. The Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had raised doubts over the matter.
Reports had alleged that Jayalalithaa, who was hospitalised at that time, had put her left thumb impression on the nomination paper as her right hand was inflamed.
A jailor from the Parappana Agrahara prison submitted a soft copy of her thumb impressions in the court. The jailor told the court that the Karnataka prison department only takes signatures of convicts in its registers, and records thumb prints electronically. Jayalalithaa had briefly been a prisoner at the Bengaluru jail in 2014 in connection with a disproportionate assets case.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court ordered a stay on the High Court directive, but it reached the High Court only towards the end of the day’s trial. Justice P Velmurugan of the High Court adjourned the matter for further hearing on December 15, and said the top court’s order may be produced before him then.