Hours after the Central Information Commission rapped information officials of NIC, MeiTY and NeGD with regard to Aarogya Setu app, the Centre has come out with a clarification.

The Centre has asserted that names of all those associated with the development of the App and management of the App ecosystem at various stages was shared when the code was release in Open/Public Domain and the same was shared widely in media also.

In a statement, the Centre said: "It is    clarified that there should be no doubt    with regard to the Aarogya Setu App and its role in helping contain COVID19 pandemic in India. As was announced through Press Releases and Social Media    posts on April 2, 2020,    Aarogya    Setu App was launched by government of India in public private    partnership mode to bring people of India together in its fight against Covid-19. The Aarogya Setu App was developed in    a record time of around    21 days, to respond to the exigencies of the pandemic with lockdown restrictions only for the objective of    building a Made    in India Contact Tracing App with the best    of Indian minds    from Industry, Academia    and Government, working    round the clock    to build a robust, scalable and    secure App." 

"Since April 2, 2020, regular press releases and updates have been issued on Aarogya Setu App including making the source code available in open domain on May 26, 2020. The names of all those associated with the development of the App and    management of the App ecosystem    at various stages was shared when the code was released in Open/Public Domain and the same was shared widely in media also."

The government clarification comes after the CIC issued the notices over a complaint by a certain Saurav Das, who claimed that the concerned departments had failed to furnish information about the process of creation of Aarogya Setu App and other information relating to its creation.

According to web portal LiveLaw, Das submitted that the NIC responded to his RTI plea stating that it 'does not hold the information' relating to the App's creation, which is surprising since it is the App's developer. Similar response came from NeGC and MeitY.

In its directive, the CIC noted the irony in the statement about lack of information about who created the application when on government portals it clearly mentions that the Aarogya Setu platform is designed, developed and hosted by NIC.

According to LiveLaw, the CIC also pointed out that the addressees cannot simply wash their hands off by  stating that the information is not available with them and that some effort should have been put in to find out the custodian(s) of the information sought.

The concerned information officers have been directed to appear before the CIC on November 24.