Over 130 individuals and organizations oppose mandatory use of Aarogya Setu in Delhi district courts #SaveOurPrivacy

Apar Gupta


Today, 135 individuals including a large number of lawyers and 7 organizations sent a representation to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and various District & Sessions Judges against Aarogya Setu being mandatory for accessing Delhi District Courts. The representation highlights that such a requirement is likely to create barriers to justice, compromise the privacy of lawyers and their clients, and it has no basis in law.


After a prolonged period of disrupted functioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical filings have recently resumed in courts in Delhi. Different district courts have issued guidelines for this purpose which seek to prevent the spread of the virus within the court premises through measures such as wearing of masks and avoiding crowding. However, the Protocol issued for the South and South East District also mandates use of the Aarogya Setu mobile app by any lawyers, clerks or litigants who wish to enter the court premises.

The Aarogya Setu app has been the subject of significant controversy, and concerns have been raised about the privacy and security of sensitive personal data collected by the app about a user's health and location. These objections also prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs to backtrack on its decision to make Aarogya Setu mandatory (read more here) and its most recent Unlock 3.0. Guidelines clarify that use of Aarogya Setu is only required on a best efforts basis.

Today i.e. 30 July 2020, 135 individuals including a large number of lawyers and 7 organizations sent a representation to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and various District & Sessions Judges against Aarogya Setu being mandatory for accessing courts in Delhi. The representation highlights that such a requirement is likely to create barriers to justice, compromise the privacy of lawyers and their clients, and it has no basis in law. We are extremely grateful to Mansi Sood who brought this important issue to our notice, drafted the representation and steered this entire effort.

Concerns about Exclusion & Privacy

Even in urban centres like Delhi, only 30-50% of the residents own Bluetooth compatible smartphones. As a result, making the Aarogya Setu mobile app a pre-condition for entry into court complexes will exclude a significant number of advocates, clerks and litigants (especially those who visit legal aid centers). Many lawyers are struggling to make ends meet due to disrupted functioning of courts during the COVID-19 pandemic, and forcing them to purchase a smartphone will only increase their suffering.

Mandatory imposition of Aarogya Setu in judicial establishments could also undermine attorney-client confidentiality. Aarogya Setu collects sensitive personal data including the location of persons and the potential for misuse of such data compromises this basic principle that forms the bedrock of the legal profession. Further, as per the Terms of Use of the app, such data is shared with unspecified government entities and third parties. In the absence of an adequate data protection framework in place, mandating the use of this application within court complexes greatly undermines the privacy and data security of all persons within these premises.

In light of these concerns, the representation recommends that the following measures to be undertaken:

  • Convene a meeting of all District Judges for a standardised SOP which recognises the challenges and concerns in the use of Aarogya Setu for court complexes.
  • Recognise the concerns associated with Aarogya Setu and issue an advisory clarifying that use of the app should not be made mandatory for any physical filing or securing entry into any judicial or court complexes in Delhi, including all District Courts as well as the Delhi High Court.
  • Ensure strict implementation of methods of risk mitigation outlined by the Ministry of Home Affairs, including but not limited to social distancing, face covering and regular sanitisation, within judicial/court complexes.

List of Endorsees


1. Balwani Law Chambers
2. Chambers of Joshi & Singh
3. Internet Freedom Foundation
4. Kaushal & Partners
5. Medianama
6. Volunteers Collective
7. Women in Criminal Law Association
2.Abhinav BakoliaAdvocate
4.Adarsh RamakrishnanLawyer
5.Aditya KumarLawyer
6.Adv. Ansar IndoriLawyer
7.Agam SharmaAdvocate
8.Agnish AdityaAdvocate
9.Ajay SinghLawyer
10.Akshita RainaVolunteer
12.Amala DasarathiAdvocate
13.Ambar BhushanAdvocate
15.Anandh VenkataramaniAdvocate
16.Anandita SharmaLawyer
17.Anas TanwirAdvocate
18.Anjali RawatResearcher in Law, Oxford University
19.Ankit ParasharAdvocate
21.Anmol BhartiAdvocate
22.Anshul BajajAdvocate
23.Apar GuptaAdvocate
24.Arijit SarkarSelf employed
25.Arijita SenPsychologist
26.Arjit BhartiyaLegal Consultant
28.Athul R T
29.Avi SinghLawyer
30.Avi SrivastavaAdvocate
31.Bismanjit Singh SabharwalLawyer
32.Chandan GoswamiLawyer
33.Chitranshul SinhaAdvocate
34.Deepanshu AroraAdvocate
35.Deepriya SnehiAdvocate
36.Devdutta MukhopadhyayAdvocate
37.Devvrat JoshiLawyer
38.Dhiliphan Madhav M CStudent
39.Divya SrinivasanLawyer
40.Dr. V. VisvanathanComputer Technologist (Retired)
42.Harsh RajLaw Student
43.Harsh SharmaLaw Student
44.Harshita VaidStudent
45.Hemanth PothulaAdvocate
46.Ilin SaraswatAdvocate
47.Indrapramit DasWriter
48.Ish MainiLawyer
49.Jahnavi SindhuAdvocate
50.Jennis StephenLawyer
51.Karishma MariaAdvocate
52.Kaushal KishoreLawyer
53.Kaustav SahaAdvocate, Delhi High Court
54.Kaustubh MehtaLaw Student
56.Khushboo PareekAdvocate
57.Kushan ChakrabortyAdvocate
58.Lakshmi Kruttika VijayAdvocate
59.Layal AyoubWriter
60.Mangla VermaAdvocate
61.Mansi SoodAdvocate
62.Mary MitzyAdvocate
63.Mayank AggarwalAdvocate
64.Meera Chature SankhariAdvocate
65.MeghaGandhi Fellow
66.Mihir SamsonAdvocate
68.Mukarram AliEngineer
69.Mukesh GargAdvocate
70.N. Sai VinodAdvocate-on-Record
71.Naman JoshiAdvocate
72.Namita SoodEnvironmentalist
75.Neelambika SinghLawyer
76.Nikhil PahwaFounder and Editor, Medianama
77.Nikitha SurabhiAdvocate
78.Ninad JaneProfessor
79.Niranjan Bharathi R BEngineer
80.Nitika KhaitanAdvocate
81.Pamela PhilposeJournalist
82.Pankaj JangirLawyer
83.Pooja SaigalLawyer
84.Pranav AroraAdvocate, Supreme Court of India
85.Pratik TiwariLawyer
86.Pratyush PriyadarshiData Scientist
87.Priyashree Sharma PhAdvocate
88.Purbitaa MitraAdvocate
90.R L SinhaLawyer
91.Rabindranath MishraIT Job
92.Radhika RoyAdvocate
93.Rahul RajamuthiahEntrepreneur
94.Rajagopalan VProfessional
95.Raman Jit Singh ChimaLawyer and Policy Analyst
96.RamaseshanSoftware Engineer and Technology Activist
97.RaunakLaw Student
98.Rina KamathLegal Practitioner
100.Rudrajit GhoshAdvocate
101.S. RamaAdvocate
102.S. SreeshAdvocate
103.Sachendra SinhaRetired Professor
105.Sakkir Ahmed HussainAdvocate
106.Sanjana SrikumarAdvocate
107.Sanjoli MehrotraLawyer
108.Sarvjeet SinghLawyer
109.Saurabh BalwaniLawyer
110.Saurav SharmaAdvocate
111.Setu Bandh UpadhyayAdvocate
112.Shailesh PoddarAdvocate
114.Shamik GuptaStudent
115.Shantanu SinghAdvocate
116.Sharmistha GhoshAdvocate
117.Shiv YadavArchitect
118.Shivam RaiTechnology Research and Consultation
119.Shraddha ChaudharyLecturer
120.Shreedhar KaleAdvocate, Delhi High Court
121.Shreya MunothLawyer
122.Shreyansh RathiAdvocate
123.Siddhant ShrivastavaAdvocate
124.Sonal SardaLawyer, New Delhi
125.Sonia ThomasMedia
126.Srishti JoshiAdvocate
127.Sunit Kumar MondalAdvocate
128.Swati JainLawyer
130.Tulika ChikkerLawyer
131.Vaishnavi ViswanathanLawyer
132.Venkateshan KData Scientist
133.Vinayak MehrotraAdvocate
134.Vishal SinghAdvocate
135.Vrinda BhandariLawyer

Important Documents

  1. Representation dated 30.07.2020 about mandatory use of Aarogya Setu in Delhi District Courts (link)



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