The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to provide the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with documents or copies of the documents submitted by 12 alleged Bangladeshi nationals to obtain Aadhaar cards.
All the 12 accused are currently in custody in the Parappana Agrahara central prison.
The single judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit in its judgement said that since the allegation is of these persons having obtained Aadhaar card by fraud, forgery and fabrication, "then the documents for information for which the petitioner has sought for from respondent have to be parted with to the petitioner or at least the copies."
The court ordered that the NIA be "permitted to look into the originals or such other documents submitted by Aadhaar grantees, this needs to be done within two weeks."
On April 22 this year, the UIDAI had refused to provide the documents to the central agency citing Section 33 of the Aadhaar Act. The said section bars 'Disclosure of information in certain cases'.
NIA advocate P Prasanna Kumar, in his arguments, said that the bar placed by Section 33 is "not a Great Wall of China". However, he conceded that the permission of the HC has to be taken to seek such documents from UIDAI.
Assistant Solicitor General Shanthi Bhushan H, who argued for UIDAI, said the permission of the High Court has to be taken by NIA and not UIDAI.
-With PTI Input