MeitY, NIC, NeGD have no information about who created Aarogya Setu app, CIC summons CPIOs

    CIC has asked NIC to explain that “when in the Aarogya Setu website it is mentioned that the platform was designed, developed and hosted by it, then how is it that they do not have any information about creation of the app”.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Oct 28 2020, 15:39 IST
    The RTI complaint filed by activist Saurav Das states that the NIC, MeitY and NeGD have all failed to provide information about Aarogya Setu.
    The RTI complaint filed by activist Saurav Das states that the NIC, MeitY and NeGD have all failed to provide information about Aarogya Setu. (PTI)
    The RTI complaint filed by activist Saurav Das states that the NIC, MeitY and NeGD have all failed to provide information about Aarogya Setu.
    The RTI complaint filed by activist Saurav Das states that the NIC, MeitY and NeGD have all failed to provide information about Aarogya Setu. (PTI)

    According to a report by LiveLaw, the Central Information Commission (CIC) on Tuesday asked the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that despite having its name on the app's website, why it has no information about who created the Aarogya Setu app.

    CIC has asked NIC to explain that “when in the Aarogya Setu website it is mentioned that the platform was designed, developed and hosted by it, then how is it that they do not have any information about creation of the app”.

    CIC has also issued show-cause notices to various Chief Public Information Officers (CPIOs), the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and to NIC for providing an evasive reply on an RTI application related to the contact tracing app.

    The summons were in response to a complaint filed by activist Saurav Das against the NIC.

    CIC has asked NIC CPIO Swarup Dutta to explain why a penalty under Section 20 of the RTI Act should not be imposed on NIC for “prima facie obstruction of information” and for giving an “evasive reply” to the RTI application submitted by Das.

    “The Commission directs the CPIO, NIC to explain this matter in writing as to how the website https://aarogyasetu.gov.in/ was created with the domain name gov.in, if they do not have any information about it,” Information Commissioner Vanaja N Sarna said in the order.

    "None of the CPIOs were able to explain anything regarding who created the App, where are the files, and the same is extremely preposterous", the CIC has pointed out.

    Also Read: NITI Aayog makes Aarogya Setu iOS version open source, here's what it means

    The RTI complaint filed by Das states that the NIC, MeitY and NeGD have all failed to provide information about Aarogya Setu. Das had filed an RTI seeking details about the origin of the proposal for the contact tracing app, its approval details, the companies involved, individuals and government departments included, and also copies of all communications between private people involved in developing Aarogya Setu.

    CIC has issued show-cause notices to SK Tyagi, Deputy Director and CPIO, DK Sagar, Deputy Director Electronics and RA Dhawan, Senior General Manager (HR and Admin) and CPIO NeGD.

    Besides giving directions to the government bodies, the CIC noted that the NeGD CPIO could not explain why it delayed responding to the RTI application for almost two months and then replied to say that the information sought was not related to the department.

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    First Published Date: 28 Oct, 15:39 IST
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