The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant relief to a 27-year-old man who had challenged an RBI order denying him employment on the ground that his biometric thumb prints were inconsistent and did not match with the original each time they were taken. A bench of Justices Akil Kureshi and SJ Kathawalla said "it wasn't possible for the court to carry out any further incisive inquiries" in the case.
Petitioner Akshay Sapkal had approached HC saying he suffered from a "seasonal skin disorder called hyperhydrosis" that caused the skin of his palm to peel off and, therefore, his bio-metric thumb impressions remained inconsistent. As per his plea, filed through his lawyer Ashish Giri, Sapkal applied for the post of an assistant with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
He cleared a preliminary online exam conducted by the authorities in December 2016, and was then asked to appear for the main written examination. Before being allowed into the exam centre, candidates were asked to give their biometric thumb impression and they were also photographed.
After the exam, when the candidates came out of the centre, they were required to give their biometric thumb impression again and this time Sapkal's thumb impression did not match the original impression taken the same morning. Sapkal, however, narrated his plight to the authorities present there and gave a written undertaking with a physical thumb impression to prove his bonafide.
Subsequently, in May the next year, he was called for the second stage of the exam, a language proficiency test, which he cleared. However, at the test centre, his biometric thumb impressions taken at the time of entry and exit did not match with each other, or with the original taken for the very first time.
Advocate Giri told HC that even at this test centre, photographs of all candidates were taken. Sapkal wrote several times to the RBI explaining his situation but in July that year, the RBI informed him that he could not be appointed to the post of assistant despite having cleared his tests, due to biometric inconsistencies.
On Tuesday, the RBI opposed his petition, saying that since Sapkal was aware of his medical condition before he sat for the exam, he should have informed the authorities well in advance. The RBI and the staff at the exam centre would then have made other arrangements to establish Sapkal's bonafide, the RBI submitted.
The bench took note of the fact that Sapkal had failed to make any prior declaration to authorities of his condition and said, therefore, it couldn't grant Sapkal any relief.