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Plea Against Aarogya Setu; App Doesn’t Detect Patients

News Desk: Sudeep Dalvi an Activist on 29th July 2020 moved the Bombay High Court against an order of the Deputy Collector, Margao-Goa, mandating the usage of Aarogya Setu App for entering the premises of the Collectorate building.

The Petitioner has contended that usage of the Aarogya Setu App is not backed or mandated by any law. Thus, its imposition is wholly arbitrary and unconstitutional and amounts to invasion into the citizens’ privacy.

 

A petition was submitted by Advocates Shashwat Anand, Shrinivas R. Khalap, and Chintan Nirala. The petition states that Infringement of the right to privacy cannot impinge without a just, fair, and reasonable statutory law, for which it has to fulfill and must meet the threefold requirement viz.

  • Existence of a law.
  • Must serve a legitimate State aim.
  • Proportionality” referring the 9-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) & Anr. v. Union of India.

 

The Petition also stated that the Supreme Court while deliberating on the scope of the Right to Privacy, included informational privacy, and privacy of choice within its ambit. Justice Nariman J, defined ‘informational privacy’ and ‘privacy of choice’ in the Privacy Judgment, in the following terms:

  • Informational Privacy does not deal with a person’s body but deals with a Person’s mind and therefore recognizes that an individual may have control over the dissemination of material that is personal to him. Unauthorized use of information leads to infringement of this right” and “the Privacy of choice, which protects an individual’s autonomy over fundamental personal choice.”
  • It discriminates between people who own and those who don’t own smartphones in according them entry into the premises of the Collectorate, Margao, Goa,” the plea states.

 

It is asserted that restricting entry into the Collectorate “militates” against the Right to Move Freely as envisaged under Article 19(1)(d).

 

The Terms of Service of the App as per which the app is neither a substitute for the medical diagnosis/epidemiological measures necessary to combat COVID-19 nor it is accurate in identifying persons in one’s proximity, who have tested positive to COVID-19, is another statement through which the petitioner accentuated the court.

 

On this note, the Petitioner has contended that “it is picturesque that the Aarogya Setu does not detect/diagnose the COVID-19, and presumably, is an App meant merely for intensive surveillance and collecting data”. Seeking that the impugned order be quashed as being misconceived, discriminatory, arbitrary, and bad in both law and fact, unconstitutional and void.

What do you think?

Written by Mriganka Pathak

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