- Dr C P N Thakur, from Muzzafarupur, Bihar, cannot access a range of services
- He says the skin on his fingers has lost elasticity which is preventing fingerprint-reading machines from finding his data
- Called for a change in policy and says any senior citizen can face problems
A 73-year-old doctor has taken a unique petition to the Supreme Court calling for a review of Aadhaar policies after he was prevented from using a range of services due to his fingerpint fading with age.
Dr C P N Thakur, hailing from Muzzafarupur, Bihar obtained an Aadhaar card by submitting his demographic and biometric information but he can no longer use it.
He has now taken his plight to the country’s apex court, raising a problem which any senior citizen could potentially face.
Dr C P N Thakur, from Muzzafarupur, Bihar, says he cannot access a range of services and has taken his plight to the Supreme Court
With increasing age, Thakur’s fingerprints changed. It got more difficult to capture them on the biometric machine, because the skin of the fingers lost its elasticity and the patterns of ridges and furrows become less prominent.
On February 8 this year, he applied for Reliance JIO-Wi-Fi connection, but it was not granted due to the variance in his fingerprints. At stake was many other services as almost everything is being linked to Aadhaar today.
Thakur’s advocate Mukti Singh told a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri that he approached authorities of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), then nodal agency which issues Aadhaar cards, twice to update his biometric details but the request was rejected citing ‘poor quality of fingers’.
Aadhaar biometric identity card are needed to access many services across India
Dr Thakur called for a change in policy and says any senior citizen can face problems
Kindling hopes in the minds of thousands of senior citizens facing similar problems, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked advocate Zoheb Hossain, who appeared for UIDAI to consider Thakur’s plea and take a decision within a month.
Section 31 of the Aadhaar Act allows updating personal details. Thus in case any biometric and demographic information of an Aadhaar number holder is found incorrect or changes subsequently, the card holder shall request the authority to alter such information with the Central Identities Data Repository.
Singh also urged the court to exempt Thakur from giving fingerprints and to collect only an iris scan for updating the biometric information of his Aadhar Card.
Thakur has sent a letter to the chairman and Public Grievance Cell of UIDAI, and other authorities, requesting them to take steps to help senior citizens whose fingerprints do not match their earlier fingerprints due to the loss of elasticity of skin due to age.
In his case, he had received a response from the public grievance cell of UIDAI, informing him that the update request is ‘rejected’ and he had to ‘re-enroll himself’.
‘The response was like making a mockery of my grievance, totally overlooking the fact that the swirls and ridges of my fingers have been obliterated due to ageing and cannot regenerate’, he said.
‘Because Aadhar card has been made essential for a number of services like banking, telecom and is likely to be made mandatory for several more services and day to day activities like driving licence, renewal of passport and checking in to airport etc, the card is very essential’, said Thakur.
He pointed out: ‘If my current finger prints don’t match the information in CIDR, I will be denied various services and facilities.’