Kochi: After hearing the various petitioners in the now controversial transfer of Covid-19 patient data by the Kerala government to US-based firm Sprinklr, the Kerala High Court on Friday, while refusing to stay the agreement, gave a number of directions to the Kerala government to see that all safeguards regarding data privacy are maintained and posted the case for hearing after three weeks.
The divisional bench of the high court pointed out that had this been a normal situation, it would have viewed the case in a different manner.
The bench said that the state is now fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and even on Friday, one death was reported caused by the dreaded virus.
The court pointed out that it wants to ensure that there is no breach of data confidentiality with regard to the data collected and processed by Sprinklr.
The court directed that each person from whom data has been collected should be informed about it.
It also directed Sprinklr not to use the emblem of the Kerala government for its marketing purposes.
The court pointed out that the state government can get in touch with the Centre after the present six-month contract with Sprinklr ends, as the former is the competent authority to deal with the matter.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition from the Congress and one of the many petitioners in this case, Ramesh Chennithala, the first person to raise this issue, claimed that the demands they had put before the court have been accepted.
"We said that there was no data privacy in this agreement, nor was consent taken from whom the data was collected. We also said Kerala's logo should not be used. All these have been accepted by the court. We demand the Kerala government should immediately end the contract with Sprinklr," Chennithala said.
State Law Minister A.K. Balan said that the court has appreciated the work of the state government in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I spoke to the advocate general and other legal experts and I was told by them that in the interim order, there is no stricture against the government. The opposition is simply creating issues for political gains," said Balan.