Odisha: HC Calls For Facial Biometric System To Track Illegal Withdrawals From ATMs

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has called for installation of facial biometric identification to track persons involved in illegal withdrawal of money from ATMs.

The two-judge bench of Justices Sangam Kumar Sahoo and Chittaranjan Dash made the observations recently while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by a man for tracing her minor girl and learnt that the kidnapper had allegedly used an ATM card that belonged to his mother in Kendrapada district. “A number of persons are making transactions in ATMs concealing their identity by covering their faces or by adopting some other methods. Therefore, if proper steps are taken by the bank authorities to install facial biometrics identification processes at ATMs, when the user approaches the ATM, the system would ask the user to show his face to the ATM security camera so that it can monitor and record potential skimming operations and even stop them before it starts.”

“If somebody steals ATM PIN (personal identification number) and uses the card for withdrawal of money or for making any transaction, the same can be recorded which would facilitate to ascertain the person’s identity, especially in cases where money is withdrawn illegally using ATM cards,” the bench observed.

Sources said the IO submitted that the footage of the CCTV camera installed inside the counter found that a person wearing a cap, almost covering his face, used the ATM card to withdraw money and left.

State counsel A Das assured the court he would apprise the state to discuss with the bank authorities and particularly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to issue appropriate guidelines and make suitable infrastructure in ATMs to ensure that identities of persons making transactions can be retrieved by the investigating agencies as per the procedure of law, if the need arises.

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