The Central Information Commission (CIC) on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to the Chief Public Information Officers (CPIOs), Ministry of Electronics, National Informatics Centre (NIC), National eGovernance Division (NeGD) for not furnishing information and providing with 'evasive answers' on who created the government's contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu.
The government bodies have denied knowledge of who created the App in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query.
Aarogya Setu's website reads that it was developed by the National Informatics Centre and the IT ministry. The RTI body asked NIC to explain that when the website mentions that the platform is designed, developed and hosted by it, then why they do not have any knowledge about the creation of the App.
The CIC also asked the government bodies as to why penalty u/s 20 of the RTI Act should not be imposed on them for prima facie obstruction of information and providing an evasive reply on the RTI application relayed to the App, reported LiveLaw.
Information Commissioner, Vanaja N Sarna, directed the CPIO and NIC to explain the 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. The RTI body said that it would not accept the denial of information as per Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act.
Commission has issued show-cause notices to the Deputy Director and CPIO, SK Tyagi, the Deputy Director Electronics, DK Sagar, and the Senior General Manager (HR & Admn) and CPIO, RA Dhawan.
The development comes in response to a complaint filed by Saurav Das, who said that the government authorities had failed to provide information about the process of creation of Aarogya Setu App and other information related to it.
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.