Aarogya Setu cannot be made mandatory by govt for now, says Karnataka HC

The Karnataka High Court on Monday issued an order that, in the absence of law, neither the state nor central government agencies can deny any benefit to an individual for not having Aarogya Setu on his phone. The order was approved in response to a petition filed by SFLC council member Anivar Arvind at the Karnataka High Court.

According to a Medianama report, Arvind had filed a petition with Karnataka HC challenging the imposition of Aarogya Setu. In his petition, he also expressed concern about the violation of privacy rights in the absence of specific legislation governing the collection and processing of data by it. He was represented by Senior Attorney Colin Gonsalves and Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Judge Ashok Kinagi were listening to Anivar’s petition.

On September 22, the court asked the central government to specify whether they were collecting personal information or data from users who installed Aarogya Setu on their phones. They were also asked to specify which app collects data and under which law.

Three major ministries, the Ministry of Railways, the Airports Authority of India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, have stated that Aarogya Setu is not mandatory to use rail or air services. The AAI also revised its state quarantine guidelines which previously stated that Aarogya Setu is mandatory for air travel.

For those unfamiliar, Aarogya Setu is one of the most popular COVID-19 tracking apps in the world. Its services are limited only to the borders of India.

In early October, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the Aarogya Setu app saying it had helped the city’s public health departments identify areas where clusters could be predicted. .

“The Aarogya Setu app from India was downloaded by 150 million users and helped the city’s public health departments identify areas where clusters could be anticipated and expand testing in a targeted manner,” reads official WHO statement.

The Karnataka High Court on Monday issued an order that, in the absence of law, neither the state nor central government agencies can deny any benefit to an individual for not having Aarogya Setu on his phone.

News Underline:

  • Karnataka HC has ordered that Aarogya Setu will notice that it will be made mandatory for now
  • The order was approved in response to a petition filed by SFLC council member Anivar Arvind at the Karnataka High Court.
  • Aarogya Setu is one of the most popular COVID-19 tracking apps in the world.