Update on Anivar A Aravind v. Ministry of Home Affairs & Ors., Karnataka High Court Allows Amendment to Petition

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, Advocate Avani Chokshi and Advocate Ali Zia Kabir in the matter.

In the last hearing, the Airport Authority of India had clarified that Aarogya Setu was not mandatory for airport travel and had revised their Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) stating the same. This was placed on record by the Court. The decision of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) to make Aarogya Setu mandatory for metro commuters was also brought to Court’s notice. The BMRCL had placed a draft SoP by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA) on record stating that they had made Aarogya Setu mandatory for commuters on the basis of MoHUA’s draft SoP. Owing to the hearings, the MoHUA released guidelines for metros on 02.09.2020 stating that the use of Aarogya Setu is advisable for commuters.

The petition was listed for hearing today i.e. 03.09.2020 before the division bench of Hon'ble Chief Justice Abhay Okay and Justice Ashok K. Kinagi.

In today’s hearing, the Court allowed the amendment application which includes the details of latest function creep of Aarogya Setu Open API and two additional prayers seeking

a. an order injuncting the respondents from proceeding with the Aarogya Setu app and with the data collected, in any manner, whether the collection of data from members of the public is stated to be voluntary or involuntary”.

b. “for an order directing the respondents to permanently delete all the data collected through the Aarogya Setu app, including the data transferred to third parties”.

An interim prayer has been added as well which reads as “for an order restraining the respondents during the pendency of this petition from proceeding with the Aarogya Setu App and with with the data collected, in any manner, whether the collection of data from members of the public is stated to be voluntary or involuntary.”

The petition has been listed for hearing on 16.09.2020.

For updates and orders of each hearing, please refer to:

1. Karnataka High Court's case status

2. Aarogya Setu is optional for air passengers, Airport Authority of India informs Karnataka High Court  (19.08.2020)

3. Karnataka High Court orders the State of Karnataka to clarify its stance on Aarogya Setu (03.08.2020)

4. Karnataka High Court allows amendment of petition in Aarogya Setu case: Update on petition challenging Aarogya Setu's voluntary-mandatory nature and lack of a specific legislation (17.07.2020)

5. Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for air or rail travel (12.06.2020)

6. Petition Challenging the de-facto imposition of Aarogya Setu in Karnataka High Court (05.06.2020)

7. SFLC's litigation tracker