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Mumbai Man Moves Court After 'Inconsistent Biometrics' Caused by Skin Disease Costs Him RBI Job

Akshay Sapkal approached a bench of Justices Akil Kureshi and SJ Kathawalla on Monday, saying he suffered from a "seasonal skin disorder" called 'hyperhydrosis'.


Updated:August 26, 2019, 5:03 PM IST
Mumbai Man Moves Court After 'Inconsistent Biometrics' Caused by Skin Disease Costs Him RBI Job
Image for representation.

Mumbai: A 27-year-old man from the city has approached the Bombay High Court challenging denial of employment by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the ground that his biometric thumb prints were inconsistent and did not match with the original each time they were taken.

Akshay Sapkal approached a bench of Justices Akil Kureshi and SJ Kathawalla on Monday, saying he suffered from a "seasonal skin disorder" called 'hyperhydrosis'.

The disorder caused the skin of his palm to peel off and therefore, his bio-metric thumb impressions remained inconsistent, he said.

As per the plea filed through his lawyer Ashish Giri, Sapkal applied for the post of an assistant with the RBI.

In December 2016, he appeared for a preliminary online examination that he cleared. He was then asked to appear for the main written exam at a centre chosen by the RBI.

Before being let in, all candidates were asked to give their biometric thumb impression. A photograph of all the candidates was also taken at the time of entering the centre.

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 with the original one taken the same morning.

Sapkal narrated his plight to the officials present there and gave a written undertaking with a physical thumb impression on it to prove his bona fide.

In May 2017, he was called for the second stage of the exam, a language proficiency test that he cleared.

However, at the centre for such tests, his biometric thumb impressions taken at the time of entry and exit again remained inconsistent and did not match with each other, or with the original taken the very first time.

Giri informed the high court that even at this exam centre, photographs of all candidates were taken.

Sapkal later wrote several times to the RBI explaining his situation.

But, in July 2017, the RBI informed him that he could not be appointed to the post of assistant despite having cleared his tests, due to the bio-metric inconsistencies.

On Monday, while the RBI opposed his petition, Giri urged the court to consider the fact that photos taken at all the exam centres would prove Sapkal had not employed any fraudulent measures.

If one looked at the photos, it could be proved that it was him who appeared for all the exams, the advocate said.

RBI's counsel Venkatesh Dhond said the bank could not claim for certain that Sapkal entered the examination hall on the first day, but someone else came out in his place after writing the exam.

The court, too, observed that though it was not an expert in the field of biometrics, the idea that "'X' entered the exam centre and 'Y' came out in his place" seemed a little far-fetched.

It, therefore, directed the RBI to retrieve all photos and biometric data pertaining to the petitioner, to go through that data and ascertain if it was Sapkal who sat for all the tests.

The high court directed the RBI to place its findings on record within two weeks.

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