A first information report (FIR) has been registered against The Tribune newspaper and its journalist Rachna Khaira for a report that was published earlier this week on how demographic data associated with Aadhaar numbers was being sold by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp for as little as Rs 500.
According to a report in The Indian Express, a deputy director of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has registered an FIR, which also names Anil Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Raj (all of whom were contacted by the Tribune reporter as part of the story).
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Alok Kumar confirmed that an FIR had been registered and an investigation launched.
The FIR has been lodged with the Crime Branch’s cyber cell under IPC Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document), as well Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 36/37 of the Aadhaar Act.
The FIR details how the reporter got in touch with the other persons named in the FIR and goes on to state: “The above-mentioned persons have unauthorisedly accessed the Aadhaar ecosystem in connivance of the criminal conspiracy… The act of the aforesaid involved persons is in violation of (the various sections mentioned in the FIR)… Hence, an FIR needs to be filed at the cyber cell for the said violation.”