Cannot deny services for not installing Aarogya Setu app: HC

The Centre has said that no public authority can refuse any service for not having the app

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday clarified that the government or its agencies cannot deny any service or benefit to citizens for not installing the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones in the absence of any legislation.

It may be noted that the Union government has said that no public authority can refuse any service for not having Aarogya Setu app in the wake of National Executive Committee set up under the Disaster Management Act not making the use of app mandatory.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi made this observation while hearing a PIL, filed by Anrivar A, Aravind, a city-based software engineer working for a non-profit organisation to protect peopleโ€™s rights in the digital space.

When Senior Counsel Colin Gonsalves insisted that HC should direct the governments not to deny any service for not installing the app as the Centre has not yet submitted its response in writing to the petition, Union Ggvernment Standing Counsel M.N. Kumar clarified to the court that no public authority or agency can make use of the app mandatory for any service contrary to the order passed by the NEC, which has said that use of app is only voluntary. Mr. Kumar also clarified that no authorities have denied any service to citizens for not having the app. Further hearing was adjourned till November 10.


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