Aarogya Setu is Optional for Air Passengers, Airport Authority Informs Karnataka High Court

SFLC.IN's advisory board member Mr. Anivar A Aravind filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court challenging the voluntary-mandatory nature of Aarogya Setu and invasion of privacy rights in the absence of a specific legislation governing data collected by it. He is represented by Senior Advocate Mr. Colin Gonsalves, counsels from SFLC.In, Advocate Clifton D’ Rozario and Advocate Ali Zia Kabir in the matter.

The petition was listed for hearing today i.e. 19.08.2020 before the division bench of Hon'ble Chief Justice Abhay Okay and Justice Ashok K. Kinagi.

In today’s hearing, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves brought to the notice of the Bench that the Government, despite placing it on record on 12.08.2020 that Aarogya Setu is not mandatory in nature, has repeatedly shifted its stance on it. He also pointed out that this is a substantial departure from the voluntary nature of Aarogya Setu. He highlighted that Aarogya Setu is still mandatory for incoming international passengers in Karnataka, and that the Department of Personnel and Training has also made it mandatory for its employees. He also brought the Justice Puttaswamy (II) judgment to the bench's notice which states that in the absence of a specific legislation, citizen’s data cannot be collected irrespective of voluntary nature of the scheme. The counsel for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) contended that BMRCL has not commenced its operations yet and the draft Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs states that Aarogya Setu has to be installed by all the commuters.

The Airport Authority of India also clarified that state-wise quarantine guidelines have been revised on 03.08.2020 and have now made Aarogya Setu voluntary for air passengers.

The Bench has directed the parties to clarify their stance on Aarogya Setu on 03.09.2020. It has also taken the Airport Authority of India’s revised quarantine guidelines on record.