Govt will try to share Aadhaar data with police for crime solving

The Centre would look into a request for sharing of Aadhar data with police for the purpose of cracking cases involving first time offenders and for identification of unidentified bodies, Union Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Ahir, has said. Suggestions for allowing Aadhaar information sharing and amendments to the Identification of Prisoners Act would be discussed in the ministry, he said in his address 19th All India Conference of Directors of Fingerprints Bureau in Hyderabad.

The Minister was responding to a specific suggestion made by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Director Ish Kumar at the event that limited access to Aadhaar data was needed to be given to police for the purposes. Ahir also said data storage capacity of the Fingerprints Bureau should be enhanced along with modernisation which will be considered as a priority by the government. Fingerprints is the scientific evidence which is considered reliable by investigators and jurists as it is foolproof and an effective forensic tool, which decreases crime rate and increases conviction rate, he said.

Kumar, in his speech, said at present around 50 lakh cases were registered every year in the country and most of them committed by first time offenders who leave their fingerprints, which would not be available in police records. “There is need for access to Aadhaar data to police for the purpose of investigation. This is essential because 80 to 85 percent of the criminals every year are first time offenders with no records (of them available) with the police.

Another issue which requires an early intervention by the home ministry was amendment to Identification of Prisoners Act so that other modern biometrics such as IRIS, veins, signature and voice could also be captured, the official said. He also stressed the urgent need for modernisation of all state fingerprint bureaus, saying finger print experts were now able to visit only around 55,000 crime scenes, which was just one percent of the 50 lakh cases filed annually and “grossly inadequate”.

In India, there are over 50 lakh fingerprints lying in various states which have to be merged with national repository but this had not been possible because the present system was outdated with limited capacity, he said. Hence, the crime records bureau has proposed NAFIS which seeks to link all headquarters of states and union territories and 850 police districts and commissionerates so that a search query could be sent to the national database, he said. The new system would comply with the national institute of standards and technology and the integration of state records with the central ones would provide efficiency in tracking the offender details, Kumar said.