The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Saturday filed a complaint of theft with the Madhapur police in Hyderabad against IT Grids, the firm which provided IT services to Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP). It was found that the company allegedly had Aadhaar details of around 7.8 crore citizens in Telangana and Andhra.
IT Grids, which developed TDP's Seva Mitra application, was at the centre of controversy for alleged data theft in the run-up to the elections in the two Telugu states.
According to media reports, the UIDAI filed the complaint after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Telangana police received information on the misuse of personal data from the state's Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) after raids were conducted on the offices of IT Grids.
"These records were found in the hard disk that was in the possession of IT Grids. When the TSFSL examined the records, it was found that the company had the name, gender, age, date of birth, district, state, pin code, and HID_NUM (Aadhaar numbers) of 7 crore card holders. The possession of these details raised a strong suspicion that the data could have been illegally obtained either from the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) or one of the State Repository Data Hubs aligned to CIDR,” UIDAI deputy director T Bhavani wrote in his complaint to the police.
A case has been registered under multiple sections of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, and transferred to the SIT, led by IG (West Zone) Stephen Ravindra.
The Hyderabad police had registered a case against IT Grids on March 2 on a complaint by T Lokeswara Reddy, a data analyst working with the YSRCP. He complained that sensitive data, including personal information of citizens of Andhra Pradesh, was being processed illegally by the company without the consent of citizens. The case was transferred to the SIT on March 6 for a thorough probe.
Intensifying the investigation, the SIT had seized the office of the company and took possession of hard disks, electronic gadgets, computers and other material and sealed the premises.
The subsequent developments triggered a row between the Telugu states, with the TDP government in Andhra Pradesh alleging that their party's data was stolen because of a conspiracy by Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSRCP.
A case is also presently being heard by the Telangana High Court.