Ministry of Electronics, NIC have no information about who created Aarogya Setu App: Report

Published: 29 October, 2020 09:32 IST | IANS | New Delhi

The report said that CIC also asked the 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 it doesn't have any information about the creation of the App

A customer buys products at a Mother Dairy shop after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19, in Noida. Pic/AFP
A customer buys products at a Mother Dairy shop after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19, in Noida. Pic/AFP

The Central Information Commission has issued show-cause notices to the CPIOs, Ministry of Electronics, National Informatics Centre and National E-Governance Division (NeGD), seeking to know as to why penalty under Section 20 of the RTI Act should not be imposed on them for prima facie obstruction of information and providing an evasive reply on an RTI application related to the Aarogya Setu App, the Live Law reported.

The report said that CIC also asked the 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 it doesn't have any information about the creation of the App.

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

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

The Commission has issued show-cause notices to S.K. Tyagi, Deputy Director and CPIO, D.K. Sagar, Deputy Director, Electronics, and R.A. Dhawan, Senior General Manager (HR and Admn) and CPIO NeGD, the report said.

"The Commission directs the above-mentioned CPIOs to appear before the bench on 24.11.2020 at 01.15 pm to show cause as to why action should not be initiated against them under Section 20 of the RTI Act. The CPIOs are also directed to send a copy of all supporting documents upon which they choose to rely upon during the hearing. The said documents be sent to the Commission at least five days prior to the hearing via linkpaper.

"If any other persons are responsible for the said omission, the CPIO shall serve a copy of this order on such persons to direct their presence before the bench as well. Swarup Dutta, Scientist F and CPIO NIC, to explain why penalty under Section 20 of the RTI Act should not be imposed on them for prima facie obstruction of information and providing an evasive reply," CICI said.

The development comes in a complaint filed by one Saurav Das, stating that the relevant authorities, i.e., NIC, National E-Governance Division (NeGD) and Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), had failed to furnish information about the process of creation of Aarogya Setu App and other information relating to its creation.

He submitted that the RTI was filed with the NIC, which stated that it "does not hold the information" relating to the App's creation, which is very surprising since it is the App's developer.

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