The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to respond to a PIL advocating use of biometric/Aadhaar data for tracing missing children, elderlies and mentally challenged persons and reuniting them with their families.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Centre for November 13 on the PIL filed by advocate Amit Sahni.
Sahni said he was motivated to file this PIL following the recent case of a 31-year-old mentally challenged woman from Alwar in Rajasthan found abandoned on Delhi roads. She was found by the Delhi police and produced before a magistrate, who in turn ordered a scan of her biometric record. The police found her biometric record in the Aadhaar database, obtained her details from the Unique Identification Authority and she was reunited with her family.
Sahni had also sent a representation to the government in June to ensure uniformity in the procedure to be followed upon finding an unidentified person, who is deranged and has lost track of his/her identity with the directions to scan the person’s biometrics and process the same through the Aadhaar database, for re-uniting the said missing person with his family.
As per National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2016, total missing persons are 5,49,008 and total untraced missing persons are 3,19,627 i.e., about 58 percent of missing persons remain untraced.
As per various NGOs, two out of three missing children in India remain untraced which means about 67 percent missing children are untraced.
Relying on these figures, Sahni said: “If biometrics of all dependent persons including children, senior citizens, infirm and mentally challenged persons, is prepared, in case anyone of them goes missing, they can be traced by using the biometric/Aadhaar data-base.”
“The issue, if addressed properly, would also curb various criminal activities including forced prostitution, child labour, begging through minor and disabled children, trafficking for human limbs/organs etc,” his PIL said.