A deputy director at the Unique Identification Authority of India has filed a First Information Report against The Tribune and its reporter Rachna Khaira for misreporting, The Indian Express reported. The daily had reported on how anonymous sellers, operating through messaging service WhatsApp, were allegedly providing access to details of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar holders.

UIDAI manages the Centre’s Aadhaar system.

On January 4, UIDAI had claimed that The Tribune had misreported an article about a breach of biometric data. In a rebuttal to the UIDAI’s accusation, The Tribune had stood by its report, and said the Aadhaar authority, in its response, had in fact admitted to the “misuse” of biometric data.

The FIR also names the people who Khaira contacted during the course of her reporting and had mentioned in her news report. “The above-mentioned persons have unauthorisedly accessed the Aadhaar ecosystem in connivance of the criminal conspiracy,” BM Patnaik, who works with the UIDAI’s logistics and grievance redressal department, said in his complaint.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Alok Kumar said the Crime Branch’s cyber cell was investigating the charges. The Tribune’s editor-in-chief Harish Khare refused to comment on the FIR.