Madras High Court Directs UIDAI To Provide Aadhaar Details Of Murder-Accused PFI Member, Says Details Necessary For NIA's Probe

Upasana Sajeev

27 Feb 2024 9:00 AM GMT

  • Madras High Court Directs UIDAI To Provide Aadhaar Details Of Murder-Accused PFI Member, Says Details Necessary For NIAs Probe

    The Madras High Court has recently directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to provide Aadhar details of some PFI members who have been accused of murdering a man and striking terror. Justice Anand Venkatesh observed that the National Investigation Agency could proceed with the investigation only after obtaining the details and thus directed UIDAI to furnish...

    The Madras High Court has recently directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to provide Aadhar details of some PFI members who have been accused of murdering a man and striking terror.

    Justice Anand Venkatesh observed that the National Investigation Agency could proceed with the investigation only after obtaining the details and thus directed UIDAI to furnish the details sought by the agency.

    The accused in the case were active members of the PFI and its political organisation SDPI and had attacked one Ramalingam causing his death and thus striking terror in the minds of a Section of people. Since the accused had forged Aadhar cards to commit the crime, the Agency had sought the details.

    The Agency informed the court that when the details were sought, the UIDAI was not willing to part with the details and documents citing Section 33 of the Aadhaar Act read with Regulation 3 of the Aadhaar (Sharing of Information) Regulations, 2016.

    The UIDAI, in response, submitted that as per the legal provisions, the disclosure could be made only after affording an opportunity for a hearing based on an order to that effect from the High Court. Citing Puttasamy's judgment, the UIDAI also contended that divulging such information would interfere with his right to privacy. Further, pointing out that the information contained in Aadhaar was confidential, UIDAI argued that they could not part with the information without an order from the court.

    The court noted that the issue had been covered in the earlier orders of the court wherein the court had held that by refusing to provide information, the due process of investigation of a serious crime gets stale.

    In the present case also, the court noted that to proceed further with the investigation, the agency needed to be supplied with the relevant information and documents. The court thus directed UIDAI accordingly.

    β€œIn the instant case, the National Investigation Agency will not be able to proceed further with the investigation without obtaining details of the Aadhaar Cards along with relevant documents. This is a case which involves attack made by the active members of PFI and its political organisation SDPI on one MR.Ramalingam with the help of forged Aadhaar Cards in order to create striking terror in the minds of a Section of people. Therefore, unless and otherwise the details are furnished to the investigating agency, they will not be able to proceed further with the investigation,” the court observed.

    Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.R.Karthikeyan

    Counsel for the Respondents: Mr.K.Ramanamoorthy CGC

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Mad) 85

    Case Title: Union of India v The Deputy Director, UIDAI

    Case No: Crl.O.P.No.899 of 2024


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