Lodges FIR against the co-founder of a mobile payment startup

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Bengaluru police against the co-founder of a mobile payment startup — Qarth Technologies Pvt. Ltd. — about misuse of data from the Aadhaar website.

The complaint was lodged by Ashok Lenin, Deputy Director, UIDAI, Regional Office, Bengaluru. A copy of the FIR, available with The Hindu, says that the suspect, Abhinav Srivastava, created a mobile app and has been giving out e-kyc, misusing data from the Aadhaar website. He did not seek permission from UIDAI before tapping into the website. According to the FIR, Srivastava entered into a conspiracy with others, misused Aadhaar data and leaked the information.

He has been booked under Section 29(2) of Aadhaar (targeted delivery of financial and other subsidies, benefits and services) Act 2016, which deals with restrictions on sharing Aadhaar information; Sections 65 and 66 of the Information Technology Act for tampering with computer source documents and hacking with computer systems; Sections 468 and 471 of IPC for forgery and Section 120(B) for conspiracy.

There is no clarity whether the suspect hacked into the Aadhaar database or misused the authentication of a user agency.

UIDAI officials were not available for comment.

Srivastava told The Hindu that Qarth is a multi-bank mobile payment firm which stopped operations in March 2016. “We have never used Aadhaar for kyc. The app is no longer available. Moreover, I have not been informed about the FIR or any charges against me,” he said.

Prerit Srivastava, co-founder, added that they have filed documents to close the company and have no employee on their rolls. “We don’t own the domain name Qarth,” he said.

Incidentally, Qarth Technologies Pvt. Ltd. was acquired by a city-based cab aggregator in March 2016.

Dr. Chandragupta, DCP (Central), Bengaluru Police said that the case has been transferred to the cybercrime police.