Delhi police closes case against Tribune journalist over a 2018 report

The journalist had detailed how ‘agents’ were running an online racket selling Aadhaar card details.

ByNL Team
Delhi police closes case against Tribune journalist over a 2018 report
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Stating that “there is no sufficient evidence to probe further”, the Delhi police’s crime branch has closed the case against the Tribune and its reporter Rachna Khaira over her 2018 report on the online sale of Aadhaar numbers by anonymous sellers. The police filed a cancellation report in a Delhi court, the Indian Express reported.

On January 3, 2018, Khaira had reported on how she had been able to access personal details submitted to the Unique Identification Authority of India by paying a sum of Rs 500 to an "agent". The personal details included name, address, postal code, photo, phone number, and email address.

Two days later, an FIR was filed by a member of UIDAI's logistics and grievance department with the Delhi police, stating that the Tribune had "purchased a service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp that provided unrestricted access to details for any of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far". The FIR named three people whom Khaira had contacted for her report and said that those named in the complaint had "unauthorisedly accessed the Aadhaar ecosystem in connivance of the criminal conspiracy”.

Based on the complaint, the police had lodged an FIR and invoked sections related to cheating and forgery.

Over three years later, a senior police official told the Indian Express that their investigation found that the Aadhaar database was not accessed illegally, and that a cancellation report has been filed before a Delhi court.

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