9 Nov 2023 8:00 AM GMT
The Orissa High Court has directed the State to have discussion with all bank authorities and particularly, with the authorities of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to install ‘facial biometric identification systems’ at all the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) so as to facilitate investigating agencies to retrieve identities of persons using such facilities for illegal purposes.The...
The Orissa High Court has directed the State to have discussion with all bank authorities and particularly, with the authorities of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to install ‘facial biometric identification systems’ at all the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) so as to facilitate investigating agencies to retrieve identities of persons using such facilities for illegal purposes.
The Division Bench of Justices Sangam Kumar Sahoo and Justice Chittaranjan Dash was hearing a writ petition in the nature of habeas corpus filed by the father of a minor girl who was allegedly kidnapped and illegally detained by two persons. When the matter was reported to the police, a case under Section 363 of the Indian Penal Code was registered.
However, being dissatisfied by the steps taken by the police to trace out her minor daughter, the petitioner had filed the writ petition before the High Court.
The Court, on the previous date, had directed the investigating officer to remain present in person and to apprise the Bench about the progress made in the investigation. In compliance with the order of the Court, the IIC of Pirahat police station, Bhadrak appeared before the Court on Monday.
The IO informed the Court that he had asked the mother of the accused as to whether she has a bank account in her name to which she had answered in negative and she had also denied to have any ATM card. But later, it came to light that she was having a bank account as well as an ATM card which was used recently by a person to withdraw money within the limits of Kendrapara district.
It was also intimated to the Court by the IO that though instructions were sought from the said bank about the identity of the person who withdrew the money using the ATM card of the mother of the accused, it was found from the CCTV footages that a person wearing a cap and almost covering his face came to withdraw money. Thus, his identity could not be ascertained by the bank authorities.
“We find that in many a cases, a number of persons are making transactions in ATMs concealing their identity by covering their faces or by adopting some other methods. Therefore, if proper steps are taken by the bank authorities to install facial biometrics identification process at ATMs, when the user approaches the ATM, the system would ask the user to show his face to the camera,” the Court said.
The Court also observed that ATM security camera can monitor and record potential ‘skimming operations’ and stop before those are executed.
“If somebody steals ATM PIN (Personal Identification Numbers) and uses the card for withdrawal of money or for making any transaction, the same can be recorded which would facilitate to ascertain the person’s identity, especially in cases where money is withdrawn illegally using ATM cards,” it further noted.
Arupananda Das, Additional Government Advocate, who was appearing for the State, assured the Court that he shall ask the State officials to have discussions with bank authorities.
The AGA also submitted that the State shall have deliberation with the authorities of the RBI to issue appropriate guidelines and to put in place the requisite infrastructural arrangements so as to ensure that identities of persons making transactions at ATMs can be retrieved by the investigating agencies as per the procedure of law, if need arises.
The Court has granted some more time to the police to trace out the kidnapped minor girl and has posted the case to December 4, 2023.
Case Title: Antaryami Nayak v. Principal Secretary of Home Department, Bhubaneswar
Case No.: WPCRL No. 131 of 2023
Date of Order: November 06, 2023
Counsel for the Appellant: Mr. B.S. Das, Advocate
Counsel for the State: Mr. Arupananda Das, Addl. Govt. Advocate
Click Here To Read/Download Order