CIC (Central Information Commission) asked NIC (National Informatics Centre) to explain every information about the Arogya Setu App & website and then how on the website it was mentioned that the platform was designed, developed and hosted by it.
The CIC also issued show-cause notices to the CPIOs (Central Public Information Officers), Ministry of Electronic, NIC, NeGD (National eGovernanace Division) as to why penalty u/s 20 of the RTI Act should not be imposed on them for obstruction of information and providing an evasive reply on RTI application.
The commission asked the CPIOs to explain that how the website https://aarogyasetu.gov.in/ was created with government’s domain i.e. gov.in. The CIC added that none of the CPIOs were able to explain anything in regard to the files of the App.
The complaint was filed by a person Saurav Das who seeked information about the App from NIC on which it said that it does not have any information about its development and creation of the App, which was surprising as NIC is its developer. He added that the authorities NIC, (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.
The Commission kept away from making any remarks on the privacy thing but it pulled up the authorities for giving “evasive kind of reply” to the Complainant. The Commission said that the authorities used Section 6(3) of the Act to transfer the RTI application to one-another but none of them disclosed any information. On which the Commission held, “Denial of information by all the concerned authorities cannot be accepted at all…Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act cannot be used by public authorities to push off the matter.
The Commission also said that this type of response from authorities is not acceptable and directed CPIOs of MeITY, NeGD and NIC, to remain present before it on November 24, 2020, to show cause as to why action should not be initiated against them under Section 20 (Penalty for failure to supply information without any reasonable cause) of the RTI Act.