“Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures” Kerala HC adjourns plea against mandatory imposition of Aarogya Setu to May 18
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“Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures” Kerala HC adjourns plea against mandatory imposition of Aarogya Setu to May 18

The Court today also asked the Central Government to file a statement on submissions made that there is a privacy policy in place and that the information stored by the COVID-19 tracking app will not be misused.

Meera Emmanuel

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday adjourned the PIL filed challenging the mandatory imposition of the Central Government’s Aarogya Setu COVID-19 tracking app to May 18.

In doing so, the Bench of Justices Anu Sivraman and MR Anitha also declined to grant any interim relief in the plea, responding to concerns that there was no law backing the Aarogya Setu app by observing that, "It is in extraordinary circumstances, we will come back to it in normal circumstances.”

“Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures”,
Justice Sivaraman orally observed today.

A related plea filed more recently, that was mentioned before the Court in today's hearing, is also expected to be taken up on May 18.

The Central Government today asserted that it has been recognised now that the Aarogya Setu app is “the best app in the world fighting COVID-19” right now.

The Court was told by the ASG for the Central Goverment that 130 COVID-19 hotspots have been identified in India using the app and that there are lakhs of people downloading the app every day.

The ASG also added that the Centre has developed a privacy protocol now to address any such concerns.

The Bench, in turn, queried whether the Central Government can guarantee that the information collected by the Aarogya Setu app would not be misused. The Centre responded that it can file a statement on record assuring that information would not be misused.

Stating that this submission would be taken on record, the High Court proceeded to adjourn the matter to May 18. Notably, the Court has also instructed the Central Government to file a statement on the measures taken to guard the privacy of person’s whose data is collected by the Aarogya Setu app.

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