Telangana SIT to probe case related to ‘unauthorised storage’ of Aadhaar details

Telangana SIT to probe case related to ‘unauthorised storage’ of Aadhaar details

The case relating to “unauthorised usage and storage” of details of 7.82 crore Aadhaar holders from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will be transferred to a Special Investigation Team appointed by the Telangana government, a senior police official said on Monday (April 15). Based on a complaint by officials of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Cyberabad Police on April 12 filed one more case against city-based IT Grids India Pvt Ltd for alleged unauthorised use of data of voters.

“As the SIT under the leadership of inspector general of police Stephen Ravindra is investigating the case, this complaint (by UIDAI) will also be transferred to it,” Madhapur deputy commissioner of police A Venkateshwar Rao said.

The city police had earlier registered a case against IT Grids India for illegally using and storing information of crores of voters of Andhra Pradesh through ‘Seva Mitra’ mobile application allegedly used by the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh.

The Telangana government handed over the case to the SIT which seized hard disks belonging to IT Grids and sent them to Telangana State Forensic Science Laboratory (TSFSL) for forensic examination.

The TSFSL in its preliminary report has stated the seized hard disks contained a database of a large number of records pertaining to Aadhaar number in a particular structural database.

Based on the TSFSL report, UIDAI filed a complaint with police on April 12.

Upon further examination of the digital evidence, it was found that 7,82,21,397 records of Aadhaar data belonging to people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were used by IT Grids India for ‘Seva Mitra’ application of the TDP, the UIDAI said in its complaint.

A senior official of UIDAI said some state government departments were permitted to use Aadhaar data for verification purpose.

“Storing Aadhaar data is a crime. Some mobile companies are also given permission to use Aadhaar data for verification. But they cannot store data and they cannot deviate from the assigned purpose,” the official said.

The alleged data theft has become a contentious issue between the two neighbouring states.

Earlier, the TDP government had dismissed the charge of data theft and sought transfer of the case from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had accused the BJP and the TRS of helping the YSR Congress Party.

When contacted, K Vijayanand, principal secretary (Information Technology, Electronics and Communications), Andhra Pradesh, refused to comment, saying he has to go through the contents of the UIDAI complaint.

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