The Centre would look into a request for sharing Aadhar data with the police for the purpose of cracking cases involving first time offenders and for identifying bodies, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said in New Delhi on Thursday. He made the remarks in his address to the 19th All India Conference of Directors of Finger Prints Bureau, PTI reported.

The minister was responding to the suggestion of National Crime Records Director Ish Kumar, who told the summit that most of the 50 lakh cases registered every year involved first-time offenders whose fingerprints are not available in police records.

“There is need for access to Aadhaar data to police for the purpose of investigation,” Kumar said. “This is essential because 80% to 85% of the criminals every year are first-time offenders with no records [of them available] with the police. But they also leave their fingerprints while committing crime. There is need for limited access to Aadhaar, so that we can catch them.”

With access to Aadhaar, the police could easily identify more than 40,000 unidentified bodies that are recovered every year, and hand them over to their relatives, he added.

Kumar also sought the home ministry’s help in amending the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, so that modern biometric markers such as iris, veins, signature and voice can also be recorded.

The crime records bureau chief said all state fingerprint bureaux need to be modernised. “At present, fingerprint experts are able to visit only around 55,000 crime scenes, which was just 1% of the 50 lakh cases filed annually, and grossly inadequate,” he said. “This is because, many states neither have adequate fingerprint cadre strength nor proper equipment and labs.”

Fingerprint experts should be sent for advance training with the Interpol or the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kumar added.