The curious case of whodunnit. Turns out, the Centre has no idea who developed the Aarogya Setu, a contact-tracing app that the government pushed in its fight against the coronavirus. While the Aarogya Setu's website says it was developed by the National Informatics Centre and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), both have failed to furnish information regarding the developer of the contact-tracing app in response to a Right to Information query.
Subsequently, the Central Information Commission has on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to various Chief Public Information Officers (CPIOs) as well as the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), MeitY, and NIC for providing an evasive response to an RTI application related the contact tracing app that has crores of users.
The CIC also 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.
The CIC action comes in response to a complaint filed by activist Saurav Das against the NIC. The commission asked NIC CPIO Swarup Dutta to explain why a penalty under section 20 of the RTI Act should not be imposed on the Centre for “prima facie obstruction of information” and giving an “evasive reply” to the RTI application submitted by the complainant, as initially reported by LiveLaw.in. "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 stated.
The departments concerned have been asked to appear before the commission on November 24.