The Unique Identification Authority of India on Friday stated that the biometric data collected by it cannot be used for crime investigations.
The clarification came after a report emerged about purported use of Aadhaar biometric data for the purpose of investigating a crime.
In an official statement, the UIDAI said that as per Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, the collected data can only be used for the purpose of generating Aadhaar and for authenticating the identity of Aadhaar holders.
The UIDAI, however, added that Section 33 of the Aadhaar Act allows a very limited exception and permits the use of or access to Aadhaar biometric data in cases involving national security after pre-authorisation by an oversight committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
"This is also the consistent stand taken by the Union of India in the ongoing Aadhaar case in the Supreme Court. It may be noted that based on this legal position, UIDAI has never shared any biometric data with any crime investigating agency. It may be underlined here that when Mumbai High Court gave orders to share biometric data with an investigating agency in a particular case, the matter was taken up to the Supreme Court which stayed that order," UIDAI said in the statement.
It was reported that National Crime Records Bureau, Director, Ish Kumar had said that limited access to Aadhaar data was needed to be given to police for the purpose of catching first-time offenders and for identification of unidentified bodies.
He further argued that there was a need for police to be given access to Aadhaar data for the purpose of investigation.