The fading finger prints Sr citizens face identity crisis - Read page 2

Ageing septuagenarian moves SC after his fading fingerprints deny him Aadhaar benefits

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.

Harish V Nair | Posted by Sonalee Borgohain
New Delhi, November 7, 2017 | UPDATED 07:53 IST
Picture for representationPicture for representation
While several pleas are piling up in Supreme Court questioning linking of various services to Aadhaar, this unique petition by a 73-year-old doctor seeks quite the opposite- to allow him to update his almost-faded fingerprint and use the 12-digit biometric-based ID number for various facilities which he is being deprived of due to the mismatch.
Dr CPN Thakur, hailing from Muzzafarupur, Bihar had obtained an Aadhaar card by submitting his demographic and biometric information. However, he rushed to the court raising a problem which any senior citizen can face.
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 was not granted due to variance in his fingerprints. At stake was many other services with almost everything being linked to Aadhaar today.
Thakur's advocate Mukti Singh told a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri that he approached authorities of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), then nodal agency which issues Aadhaar cards, twice for updating his biometric details but the request was rejected citing "poor quality of fingers".
Kindling hopes in the minds of thousands of senior citizens facing similar problems, a bench of Justices AK 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 in such manner as may be specified by regulations.
Singh also urged the court to exempt Thakur from giving fingerprints and to collect only iris scan for updating the biometric information of his Aadhaar 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."


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