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‘Aarogya Setu voluntary for rail, plane passengers,’ says central govt in Karnataka HC

Aarogya Setu, Air India, plane
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

Resolving three weeks of confusion about whether or not Aarogya Setu is mandatory for air passengers with compatible phones, the central government's counsel finally said that it is voluntary in Karnataka High Court on June 12. The Additional Solicitor General of India for the Karnataka High Court, M.B. Nargund said that “A person can travel by air without having downloaded the Aarogya Setu app and the same thing applies for travel by railways. A self-declaration though will have to be given by the passenger. It is advisable to download the Aarogya Setu application. If they want to have it, have it; if they don’t want to have [it], don’t have it.” LiveLaw had first reported the development. Prasanth Sugathan, the legal director of SFLC.in which is representing the petitioner in this PIL, confirmed the development to MediaNama. “We argued that as per Railways’, Airports Authority of India, and Ministry of Civil Aviation latest orders, downloading Aarogya Setu is mandatory for availing these services. At that time, the central government counsel said that it is not mandatory,” Sugathan said. The division bench, constituting Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice E.S. Indiresh, was hearing a PIL filed by Anivar Aravind, a public interest technologist and part of SFLC.in's advisory board, that argued against mandating Aarogya Setu for rail and air travel. Aravind was represented by Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, the founder of Human Rights Law Network, and Senior Advocate Ravi Verma. The PIL had been filed on June 2. Ahead of the hearing…

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