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‘Can govt make Aarogya Setu mandatory and use it to deny services to citizens?’ asks Karnataka HC

Aarogya Setu, Air India, plane
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

While hearing a petition arguing against making Aarogya Setu mandatory for rail and air travel on Wednesday, the Karnataka High Court dismissed an application for intervening that exalted the app, Live Law reported and one of the lawyers for the petitioner confirmed to MediaNama. The division bench said that the question was not about the quality of the app, but whether services could be denied to citizens on the basis of its installation and use. “In this petition, this court is not concerned with the question whether the Aarogya Setu application is good or bad and the nature and extent of services available to those who use this app. The issue at this stage is whether the state or its agencies and instrumentality can make downloading of the app mandatory to enable citizens to avail of services or privileges, which they are entitled from the state and agencies/instrumentalities of the state,” the division constituting Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi said, as per the report. The bench has raised this point at least thrice during the course of this case — twice today and once in the order issued on August 3. Rajkumar V.C., an advocate, had filed the application for intervening wherein he argued that he was a user of the app and found the app to be “very useful” as it helps “the public be cautious”. He further said that 14 crore citizens were using the app. The bench will now decide on the interim…

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