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State jail officials submit Jaya’s thumb impression in Madras HC

Prime News, State (Chennai), December 9:-A Karnataka prison official on Saturday submitted to Madras High Court in a sealed cover a register containing the signature of late Jayalalitha and soft copy of her fingerprints taken when she was lodged in a Bengaluru jail.

Justice P Velmurugan, before whom the cover was submitted as per his direction on an election petition, adjourned the matter to December 15 after the court was informed that the Supreme Court on Saturday stayed his order to the jail authorities and UIDAI seeking the records.

However, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which maintains Aadhaar data, said the ex-CM had enrolled under the unique identification scheme in her lifetime, but it can’t reveal the thumb impression since Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act bars it from disclosing such details.

The Judge had on November 24 directed jail authorities and the UIDAI to submit the fingerprint details by Saturday while hearing a petition by P Saravanan, DMK candidate for the November 2016 Thirupparankundram Assembly bypoll, challenging the election of AIADMK’s A K Bose.

Sarvanan had alleged, in an affidavit, that thumb impression of Jayalalithaa in the election forms authorising Bose’s candidature was obtained without her consent while she was unconscious at a hospital here.

When the matter came up on Saturday, Jailor of the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru Mohana Kumar produced in a sealed cover the prison register which contained the signature of Jayalalitha.

It also contained the soft copy of Jayalalitha’s thumb impression obtained through the e-prison electronic device when she was lodged in the prison following her conviction by the trial court in the Rs 65.66 crore disproportionate assets case in September, 2014, the jailor submitted.

The former AIADMK supremo had died on December 5 last year.

Kumar informed the court that normally literate convicts affix their signature in the prison register and only the illiterate puts their thumb impression. However, all the convicts’ thumb impression would be recorded in the e-prison electronic device, he added.

When the judge asked him whether the soft copy was certified as per section 65 B of the Evidence Act granting authenticity to it, the Jailor said he would get the certificate.

Counsel for UIDAI Deputy Director General Y L P Rao, who was also present in the court, informed the court that there was a bar under section 29 of the Aadhar Act from disclosing bio-metric details or information about the Aadhar card holders.

Responding to a question by the judge, he said Jayalalitha had got her Aadhar card and sought time to file an affidavit explaining the difficulties in producing the thumb impression.

At this stage, counsel for Bose informed the Judge that on a special leave petition by his client the Supreme Court has stayed the proceedings related to production of Jayalalitha’s thumb impression.

Recording the production of documents, the judge then posted the matter to December 15.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud of the apex court stayed the high court order.

It also issued notice to Saravanan and asked him to file a reply within eight weeks.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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