Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala has filed a PIL in the High Court seeking to quash a police circular directing collection of call data records of COVID-19 patients who are undergoing quarantine at home as well as at various hospitals in the state.
In the petition filed on Monday, Chennithala alleged that collection of CDRs of COVID-19 positive patients by police is an illegal expansion of police powers, which is nothing but an infraction on the right to privacy of individuals.
He said the state police chief issued the circular on August 11 directing the Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) and police headquarters to take up the matter with BSNL and Vodafone for prompt collection of CDRs.
The petitioner submitted that the circular was vague and worded in a very deceptive manner which does not disclose thepurpose for which CDRs of COVID-19 patients are required by police.
It is evident that there is no informed voluntary consent also obtained from the infected patients undergoing quarantine before collecting CDRs Chennithala also alleged that a careful scrutiny of the circular would prove that police had started collection of CDRs of COVID-19 patients in massive numbers from telecom companies, even prior to the issuance of circular and without the consent or knowledge of those infected by the virus.