The Delhi High Court has registered a suo motu public interest litigation after raising concerns over a major loophole in the Aadhaar verification process that allowed the misuse of the authentication system, Live Law reported on Wednesday. The High Court issued notices to the Centre, Unique Identification Authority of India and the Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell, among others, to fix the loophole.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao started hearing the PIL after a single judge bench of Sanjeev Sachdeva flagged the breach while hearing a bail application by a shop owner who is accused of using the Aadhaar details of his customers to issue SIM cards. The SIM cards were used to make calls to people and dupe them into signing up for fraudulent insurance schemes.
According to the police, accused Manish Bansal also carried out Aadhaar verification and linkage with the SIM cards at his shop. While getting the biometric scan done, Bansal would claim that since the scan was not properly done the first time, the customer would have to undergo another biometric scan. On the second instance, he would use the customer’s details to issue a fresh connection on the same details and distribute it to others who committed fraud, The Times of India reported.
“The modus operandi that has surfaced during preliminary investigation, in this case, highlights a major loophole in the system, whereby fresh mobile connections can be issued in the name of an unwary customer, without his knowledge and consent by using his documents and biometrics,” Sachdeva observed, according to Live Law. “This loophole can not only have disastrous consequences for the said individual but also raises serious law and order issues and could have serious repercussions on the safety and security of the nation.”
The judge said the Ministry of Home Affairs, the UIDAI, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and Delhi Police Cyber Cell need to examine the matter.
After the police highlighted that there were several other cases of misuse of Aadhaar details, Sachdeva directed that the copy of his order be placed before the chief justice of the Delhi High Court for consideration as to whether the matter needs to be taken up as a public interest litigation.