The Bombay High Court was moved by Activist Sudeep Dalviin a petition contending against an order of the Deputy Collector, Margao-Goa, mandating the usage of Aarogya Setu App for entering the premises of the Collectorate building.
Advocates ShashwatAnand, Shrinivas R. Khalap and ChintanNirala represented the Petitioner and contentions were raised that usage of the Aarogya Setu App is not backed or mandated by any law. So, in any way, its imposition amounts to invasion into the citizens’ privacy and is wholly arbitrary and unconstitutional in nature.
Submissions were made with the principleslaid down by the 9-Judge bench of the Supreme Court in KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) &Anr. v. Union of India &Ors., 2015 (8) SCC 735:
“infringement of the right to privacy cannot be impugned without a just, fair and reasonable statutory law, for which it has to fulfil and must meet the threefold requirement viz. (i) existence of a law; (ii) must serve a legitimate State aim; and (iii) proportionality.”
Contentions regarding the impugned order mentioned that it is highly derogatory of the equality principle as enshrined underArticle 14 of the Constitutionas majority of persons don’t own such smartphones and may not be able to run the App is an unconsidered truth.
The plea mentioned,”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,”
Emphasis on the Right to Move Freely as envisaged under Article 19(1)(d) were noted as against restricting entry into the Collectrate’s“militates’’.
The Court’s attention was aroused towards the Terms of Service of the Aarogya setu App as per which the application is not accurate in identifying persons in one’s proximity, who have tested positive to COVID-19 neither a substitute for medical diagnosis/ epidemiological measures necessary to combat COVID-19.
Contentions were raised by the petitioner 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.”
Therefore, the plea seeks that the impugned order be quashed on the grounds of being misconceived, discriminatory, arbitrary, and bad in both law and fact, unconstitutional and void.