The Delhi High Court Monday directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to file a detailed response on a petition seeking to scan biometrics of all “unidentified dead bodies” and run it through the Aadhaar Portal for identification.
The petition was filed by advocate Amit Sahni, who said the identification would ensure the handing over of the body to family members of the deceased in order to give them a “respectable and dignified exit”.
“It is respectfully submitted that thousands of unidentified dead bodies are recovered in our country every year. As per NCRB, the total number of unidentified dead bodies found in India in the period from 2011 to 2015 was 1,83,659. Also, 35,000 to 40,000 unidentified dead bodies are disposed of yearly and about 100 unknown dead bodies are recovered every day in India as per NCRB records,” the petition stated.
The plea said despite registering biometrics and scanning more than 1 billion citizens at the Aadhaar Portal, the database was not being utilised for identifying the bodies. Sahni also sought directions to constitute special courts for the speedy disposal of cases pertaining to unidentified dead bodies under Aadhaar Act on the same day or the next day, irrespective of a holiday.
During the Monday hearing, the UIDAI submitted before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao that it was “technically not possible” to match the fingerprints of an unidentified body. The bench asked the UIDAI to bring on record the details and file its response to the plea, with an explanation as to why it was not possible to match the fingerprints in such cases with the Aadhaar database.
The court also sought the reply of the NCRB on the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on February 5, 2019.