In the absence of a law, central and state government agencies cannot deny any benefit to citizens if they don’t install Aarogya Setu, Karnataka High Court ordered on Monday. This is the first time that the Court passed such an order even though its has acknowledged the issue in different ways in the past. The division bench, comprising of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok Kinagi, was hearing Anivar A. Aravind’s petition which is seeking a permanent order against the use of the contact tracing app. The Court also granted the Central government counsel M.N. Kumar time until November 3 to file the government's objections, the last such extension. In the September 22 hearing, the Court had directed the central government to specify whether the government of India is collecting and using data of individuals through Aarogya Setu. The government had also been directed specify the purpose for which the app is collecting data and under the authority of which law. The Central government missed two deadlines to file its objections. The case will next be heard on November 10. Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, on behalf of the petitioner, reiterated that at the moment, he is only asking the government to not deny services to citizens for not installing the app, and a directive against the app itself. Aarogya Setu is NOT compulsory for govt employees: Central govt Central government counsel Kumar repeatedly said that no government authority had made the app mandatory or denied services to people on…
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