Thursday, August 27, 2020

Downloading Aarogya Setu App only an optional requirement for domestic travel: Airport Authority assures Kerala HC

A petition has been moved in the Kerala High Court challenging directions requiring the mandatory installation of the Aarogya Setu app for domestic air travel (Jackson Mathew v. Union of India and Ors.).

The petitioner has challenged a clause in the Airport Authority's May 21 Standard Operating Procedure for air travel that, "All the departing passengers must compulsorily be registered with 'Aarogya Setu' App on their mobile phones..."
On Monday, Standing Counsel for the Airport Authority of India (AAI) V Santharam submitted before Justice Anu Sivaraman that the App’s download was not mandatory in the Revised Guidelines applicable to Airports in Kerala. A ‘self-declaration’ form in lieu of the application was sufficient to certify a passenger’s health, it was submitted.

The Court recorded the AAI's submission that the revised guidelines state that “passengers are expected to certify the status of their health through the Arogya Setu App or a self-declaration form."

Additionally, the Court was informed that passengers travelling to and from Kerala Airports were required to register their details on the Kerala Government’s Jagratha Portal and obtain an e-pass.
Justice Sivaraman, finding that the petition was in the nature of a Public Interest Litigation, directed that the case be posted with connected cases challenging the imposition of the app.

The plea, moved by Jackson Mathew through Advocate Santhosh Mathew, challenges the mandatory imposition of the app on air passengers for domestic air travel.
Citing the AAI’s Standard Operating Procedure dated May 21 that makes registration on the app ‘compulsory’, the petition assails the imposition of the app as violative of the rights to privacy and liberty. It is contended that hinging the free exercise of the rights to travel, movement and trade on the app’s installation is unconstitutional and illegal.
27/08/20 Lydia Suzanne Thomas/Bar and Bench

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