w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Balu Goplalakrishnan & Others v/s State of Kerala, Represented by Principal Secretary, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Thiruvananthapuram & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- ELECTRONICS CORPORATION OF INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32100TG1967GOI001149

Company & Directors' Information:- L G ELECTRONICS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32107DL1997PTC220109

Company & Directors' Information:- T V S ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U30006TN1986PLC013301

Company & Directors' Information:- U K B ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL2004PTC126250

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LTD [Active] CIN = U74140DL1992PLC048211

Company & Directors' Information:- M G ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1969PLC005030

Company & Directors' Information:- G P C TECHNOLOGY LIMITED [Not available for efiling] CIN = L31300DL1980PLC010998

Company & Directors' Information:- J V ELECTRONICS PVT. LTD. [Active] CIN = U74899DL1973PTC006446

Company & Directors' Information:- L B ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL2005PLC134598

Company & Directors' Information:- R R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31908MH2007PTC171298

Company & Directors' Information:- B AND B ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1984PLC019600

Company & Directors' Information:- B R C ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL2005PTC140580

Company & Directors' Information:- A G T ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31200TZ1989PLC002336

Company & Directors' Information:- O S ELECTRONICS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900DL2015FTC283969

Company & Directors' Information:- T R S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2003PTC119643

Company & Directors' Information:- J. C. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909GJ2010PTC061768

Company & Directors' Information:- R A ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29308GJ1991PTC016804

Company & Directors' Information:- G S C ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LTD. [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC029325

Company & Directors' Information:- J N J ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32101DL2005PLC142345

Company & Directors' Information:- S N ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32101AS1999PTC005696

Company & Directors' Information:- A D ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U31200MH1996PTC104103

Company & Directors' Information:- A 1 TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200PB2002PTC035548

Company & Directors' Information:- D TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403MH2015PTC268305

Company & Directors' Information:- R AND S (INDIA) ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29299MH2000PTC128688

Company & Directors' Information:- ELECTRONICS LTD [Under Liquidation] CIN = U32201DL1945PLC000866

Company & Directors' Information:- H R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51395DL2000PTC107829

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INFORMATION COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72300MH1999PTC118630

Company & Directors' Information:- C M R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U72211WB1979PTC032091

Company & Directors' Information:- B S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28990DL2013PTC262594

Company & Directors' Information:- P S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31902WB1997PTC084379

Company & Directors' Information:- P R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31900KA1991PTC011572

Company & Directors' Information:- K V N ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC074002

Company & Directors' Information:- M. R. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL2008PTC185335

Company & Directors' Information:- L K ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL2006PTC144509

Company & Directors' Information:- K V ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U32107TG1986PTC006103

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND N ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL2006PTC144588

Company & Directors' Information:- J R S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74120UP2015PTC074074

Company & Directors' Information:- S N A ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32204DL2009PTC188412

Company & Directors' Information:- N U ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999MH1981PTC025048

Company & Directors' Information:- H B ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32201GJ1988PTC010345

Company & Directors' Information:- S M I C ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909DL2009PTC193590

Company & Directors' Information:- K & D TECHNOLOGY COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72500MP2007PTC019697

Company & Directors' Information:- M M ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC030129

Company & Directors' Information:- D M ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31909DL1997PTC087620

Company & Directors' Information:- M. A. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U40101WB2007PTC121034

Company & Directors' Information:- D S ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL2004PTC126986

Company & Directors' Information:- S S G ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31909DL1998PTC092657

Company & Directors' Information:- R S M ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U33111TN1987PTC014843

Company & Directors' Information:- C. G. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U52334UP1992PTC014453

Company & Directors' Information:- S G ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31909WB1992PTC055977

Company & Directors' Information:- C S R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32101DL1983PTC017212

Company & Directors' Information:- C. ELECTRONICS PVT. LTD. [Under Liquidation] CIN = U51433WB1991PTC052848

Company & Directors' Information:- E E I TECHNOLOGY PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31909WB1991PTC053259

Company & Directors' Information:- V B ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U29308GJ1982PTC005087

Company & Directors' Information:- R G M ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109DL1998PTC096022

Company & Directors' Information:- E M TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74999DL2000PTC105539

Company & Directors' Information:- N E B ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Liquidation] CIN = U32300MH2004PTC145675

Company & Directors' Information:- R M TECHNOLOGY INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2016PTC280859

Company & Directors' Information:- 5 I TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900UP2016PTC083186

Company & Directors' Information:- H D ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29308WB2008PTC121476

Company & Directors' Information:- A G ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32109WB2007PTC116846

Company & Directors' Information:- V M K ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED. [Active] CIN = U31908DL2007PTC162969

Company & Directors' Information:- C H C INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200WB2001PLC093126

Company & Directors' Information:- B. T. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29309TG1998PTC030240

Company & Directors' Information:- ELECTRONICS (INDIA) PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U29306WB1991PTC053380

Company & Directors' Information:- S N J ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32305DL2004PTC131140

Company & Directors' Information:- C K ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U30007CH1999PTC023193

Company & Directors' Information:- S B 3 TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200DL2010PTC209614

Company & Directors' Information:- A K G ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31909DL1984PTC017616

Company & Directors' Information:- S L ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1984PTC019260

Company & Directors' Information:- H B S A ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29309PB1995PTC017227

Company & Directors' Information:- A A ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC031562

Company & Directors' Information:- A K R INFORMATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC030157

Company & Directors' Information:- R K G ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29191DL1996PTC075531

Company & Directors' Information:- H K ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U32200MH1992PTC067704

Company & Directors' Information:- S M C ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29248UR2015PTC001680

Company & Directors' Information:- D V G ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U40300UP2015PTC072080

Company & Directors' Information:- T & C TECHNOLOGY (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC074144

Company & Directors' Information:- E K ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31900PN2010PTC135750

Company & Directors' Information:- V R INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72900MH2000PTC128632

Company & Directors' Information:- A B ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL2000PTC103497

Company & Directors' Information:- L P ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U72200WB1980PTC033179

Company & Directors' Information:- K M S ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U52335WB1994PTC065698

Company & Directors' Information:- R M ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U32109WB1988PTC045429

Company & Directors' Information:- K. K. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200OR2009PTC011100

Company & Directors' Information:- R V ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31909PN2003PTC017582

Company & Directors' Information:- P C S L ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51505WB1996PTC077466

Company & Directors' Information:- D V C ELECTRONICS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32201DL1996PTC077906

Company & Directors' Information:- P & A TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45208OR2011PTC014269

Company & Directors' Information:- K J ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29299MH1996PTC099288

Company & Directors' Information:- R G S TECHNOLOGY (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200TN2003PTC050424

Company & Directors' Information:- Q & Q TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900DL2013PTC259002

Company & Directors' Information:- K R A ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32109DL2005PTC140367

Company & Directors' Information:- A C R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29100KA2013PTC071197

Company & Directors' Information:- N N ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1994PTC058398

Company & Directors' Information:- U V ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U29308MP1985PTC002738

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Under Liquidation] CIN = U99999RJ1981PLC002349

Company & Directors' Information:- C R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32103MH1979PTC021696

Company & Directors' Information:- A. C. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32100TG1997PTC027030

Company & Directors' Information:- B R B ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31100TG1994PTC018195

Company & Directors' Information:- A K ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U00379BR1986PTC002265

Company & Directors' Information:- L AND S ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1980PTC011153

Company & Directors' Information:- A S ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1990PTC042519

Company & Directors' Information:- F M S ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED. [Strike Off] CIN = U32109CH1988PTC008596

Company & Directors' Information:- A M K ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U32301CH1980PTC004291

Company & Directors' Information:- G M I TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200TG2011PTC075075

Company & Directors' Information:- K G ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC027723

Company & Directors' Information:- I E TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72900MH2001PTC132315

Company & Directors' Information:- U S ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Amalgamated] CIN = U32109MH1981PTC024519

Company & Directors' Information:- U A ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1997PTC090003

Company & Directors' Information:- G P ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31103WB1983PTC035762

Company & Directors' Information:- G R ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U32101PB1985PTC006219

Company & Directors' Information:- J L ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31900KA1995PTC018631

Company & Directors' Information:- S. M. G. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32107DL1986PTC023467

Company & Directors' Information:- I D S ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32109DL1995PTC074417

Company & Directors' Information:- P C ELECTRONICS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U32301CH1994PTC015359

Company & Directors' Information:- S V ELECTRONICS LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29309TG1999PLC031988

Company & Directors' Information:- H P ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29100PN2011PTC138672

Company & Directors' Information:- I P L TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29290MH2000PTC127550

Company & Directors' Information:- S A I S INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72100TN2010PTC075284

Company & Directors' Information:- G I TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200MH2005PTC156230

Company & Directors' Information:- P T ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31909MH1999PTC119296

Company & Directors' Information:- C C BALU COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51109MH1952PTC008849

Company & Directors' Information:- S I ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900PN2010PTC136038

Company & Directors' Information:- I. V. ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909MH2011PTC214508

Company & Directors' Information:- S. R. TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999MH2017PTC290229

Company & Directors' Information:- M H T TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN2010PTC077205

Company & Directors' Information:- R N D ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900JK2011PTC003270

Company & Directors' Information:- P B ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32109HP1997PTC019625

Company & Directors' Information:- K S K ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31101DL2006PTC148357

Company & Directors' Information:- Y P ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U31401DL2009PTC189107

Company & Directors' Information:- K S Q TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72900DL2006PTC154900

Company & Directors' Information:- A R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LTD. [Active] CIN = U74899DL1985PTC022843

Company & Directors' Information:- U P S ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC027323

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA X-ON ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL2017PTC311261

Company & Directors' Information:- A B J ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74999DL2011PTC226921

Company & Directors' Information:- S H INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200DL2005PTC135610

Company & Directors' Information:- N G S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U93000DL2009PTC196737

Company & Directors' Information:- P C TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900DL2015PTC278616

Company & Directors' Information:- T H ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32109DL1996PTC075539

Company & Directors' Information:- U AND U ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32109DL2001PTC112361

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND W ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32109DL2005PTC139906

Company & Directors' Information:- V N ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32200DL2009PTC188507

Company & Directors' Information:- J & H ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32204DL2015PTC276268

Company & Directors' Information:- B N ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32210DL2000PTC107871

Company & Directors' Information:- V & P TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72200HR2011PTC044721

Company & Directors' Information:- ON ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74990KA2009FTC083028

Company & Directors' Information:- S V S ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32300DL1993PTC053405

Company & Directors' Information:- V R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31101KA1975PTC002784

Company & Directors' Information:- H V M ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U31200UP1988PTC010212

Company & Directors' Information:- P AND A ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32109DL1990PTC040859

Company & Directors' Information:- L P ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U99999MH1974PTC017722

Company & Directors' Information:- N C A TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72900PB2008PTC031981

Company & Directors' Information:- S R ELECTRONICS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1988PTC034382

Company & Directors' Information:- M G TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U72200DL2007PTC172003

Company & Directors' Information:- T & S TECHNOLOGY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U32204DL2008PTC177037

Company & Directors' Information:- A. M. ELECTRONICS PVT. LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U36997WB1981PTC033742

    W.P.(C). Temp. Nos. 84, 129, 132, 148 & 163, of 2020

    Decided On, 24 April 2020

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE DEVAN RAMACHANDRAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE T.R. RAVI

    For the Petitioners: K.S. Jaykar, Mathews J. Nedumpara, Maria Nedumpara, Krishnadas P. Nair, K.L. Sreekala, Haridas P. Nair, M.A. Vinod, C. Dinesh, T. Asaf Ali, C. Rasheed, V.S. Chandrasekharan, T.Y. Laliza, Dr. Mathew A. Kuzhalanadan (K/1609/2001), K.R. Arun Krishnan (K/617/2011), Sudeep Aravind Panicker (K/517/2018), Advocates. For the Respondents: K.K. Ravindranath, Addl. AG., P. Narayanan, Sr. Govt. Pleaders, V. Manu, Govt. Pleader, P. Vijayakumar, ASGI., Jaisankar V. Nair, CGC., S. Kannan, N.S. Nappinai, Advocates.



Judgment Text

Devan Ramachandran, J.1. These writ petitions, filed by the petitioners ad vindictam publicam, calls into focus, inter alia along with other issues, certain confidentiality concerns quad hoc a contract (hereinafter “the contract” or “impugned contract” for short) entered into by the Government of Kerala with a Company by name Sprinklr Inc. (hereinafter called Sprinklr for convenience) – which is stated to be a “modern digital communication infrastructure” provider – to make available an online digital software/platform to process and analyse data with regard to patients and those vulnerable and susceptible to the Corona Virus Disease - 2019 (COVID-19 hereinafter) in the State of Kerala.2. Prefatorily, data confidentiality is, in its ultimate sense, about protecting data from unlawful, unauthorised as also from unintentional access and disclosure.3. Hence, the authorisations to view, share and use data forms the hypostasis of all confidentiality requirements.4. Imperative criteria as to whom the data can be disclosed; whether there are sufficient safeguards to ensure that the data remains confidential; how it is to be dealt with after processing/analysis and its conditions, thus become vitally important.5. The corner-stone of managing data confidentiality is, to a large extent, determined by the control over access to it and the modus and the manner in which it is dealt with.6. The afore observations have been made by us because the petitioners primarily allege that the contract in question has little or no safeguards against the commercial and unauthorised exploitation of the data entrusted to Sprinklr for processing by the Government of Kerala. The petitioners also project an apprehension – based on certain terms of the contract, a copy of which has been appended to some of these writ petitions as an exhibit – that, in the event of breach of data confidentiality or any other dispute, the Government of Kerala will obtain no legal recourse through any courts in Kerala – or for that matter in India – since it postulates that the jurisdiction with respect to such is exclusively vested in the courts in New York, United States of America.7. We have heard the learned counsel for the petitioners in the respective writ petitions; learned Additional Advocate General, Shri K.K.Ravindranath and Smt.Nappinai N.S. learned counsel for the Government of Kerala; and Shri P.Vijayakumar, learned Assistant Solicitor General of India, along with Shri Jayasankar V.Nair, appearing for the Union of India.8. The learned Additional Advocate General Shri Ravindranath, assisted by Shri V.Manu, Senior Government Pleader, commenced his submissions by informing us that a statement has been filed on behalf of the State of Kerala explaining the background, circumstances and reasons why the contract had to be entered into. He further asserted that since the “worst case projections” with respect to the spread of COVID-19, coupled with “the possibility of a sudden spike in cases”, led the Government to anticipate that the tracking and tracing of over 80 lakhs citizens would be necessary, it was felt essential that the assistance of a “scalable Information Technology system” was to be commissioned. He explained that the “Government owned/controlled entities like CDIT and Information Kerala Mission are not technically equipped to manage large volume of data” and that since “there are no viable alternatives within the Government frame works”, it was forced to requisition the assistance of Sprinklr, which “showed interest in working with the Government to tackle the issue”.9. He added to the above, saying that the Government had adequate inputs with themselves as regards the credentials and capacity of Sprinklr to take on this challenge; and further that they have promised to offer their services free and gratuitously to the Government for a period of six months.10. Smt.N.S.Nappinai, learned counsel on behalf of the IT Department of the State of Kerala, then proceeded to submit that the Government firmly believes that confidentiality of the data of the citizens is guaranteed as per the terms of the contract and further that the Government takes full responsibility for its protection. She made elaborate submissions before us, edificed on technical norms and inputs, as to how the data is protected and maintaining that the State is firm in their assurance that there has been and could never have been breach of data in the past. She, however, concedes that an audit with respect to such issues are available with the Government only for the period from 4.4.2020 and that the balance audit, with respect to the period commencing from the date of contract till then, is yet to be completed. She, nevertheless, asserts that the available protectional systems on the Amazon Cloud Service makes it impossible for Sprinklr or anyone else to breach confidentiality or to deal with the data surreptitiously or maliciously. Smt.Nappinai concluded by affirming that Sprinklr is not in possession of any data at present and that they have re-transmitted all such to the Government of Kerala, which is presently in its full custody and control.11. On the issue of jurisdiction for dispute resolution as per the contract being in the Courts of New York, the learned Additional Advocate General ShriK.K.Ravindranath, as also Smt.Nappinai, submitted that this was part of the “standard form contract” of Sprinklr, which the Government had to accept on account of the urgency and the extraordinary circumstances faced by them; but that “the data resides in India” and therefore, that the breach of its confidentiality would expose Sprinklr to action in India, both at the hands of individual citizens and the State. They, however, expressly admitted that the “mandate of the New York jurisdiction” binds the Government of Kerala with respect to the breach of the terms of the contract.12. In response, the various counsel appearing for the petitioners in these writ petitions, as also for persons who have made applications for impleadment in them, argued that the impugned contract has been entered into by the Government of Kerala without proper thought and without adverting to the applicable Rules of Procedure and established protocols; and further that it is in conflict with the mandate of Article 299 (1) of the Constitution of India. They further submitted – with great vehemence – that the Government of Kerala, by ceding to the jurisdiction of courts outside India, has rendered recourse to law, both for the citizens and itself, illusory in the event of breach of the contract by Sprinklr. They thus accuse that the contract has been entered into with questionable and confutative intent and that it is vitiated by corruption; consequently seeking investigation into it by high powered agencies.13. Of course, various allegations on facts have also been impelled in support of the prayers sought by the petitioners.14. The learned Assistant Solicitor General of India, Shri P.Vijayakumar, assisted by Shri Jaisankar V. Nair, learned Central Government Counsel, submitted that a statement on behalf of the Government of India has been placed on record and that their singular concern is that the confidentiality of the data of the citizens of the State of Kerala be never breached. He predicated that the Government of Kerala ought to have ensured, at the time when the contract was entered into, that the citizens had recourse to proper legal remedy through Courts in Kerala and therefore, that the acceptance of the standard form of contract, allowing jurisdiction only to the Courts in New York, is not acceptable to the Government of India. He then went on to submit that the original contract between the Government of Kerala and Sprinklr, which is called the “Master Services Agreement” (hereinafter referred to as the MSA), did not have sufficient confidentiality clauses and that agreements to supplement it were entered into by the parties only subsequently. He thus submits that the integrity of the data which has already been accessed by Sprinklr cannot be now guaranteed and axiomatically that the factum of the agreement admittedly not having been vetted by the Law Department assumes great significance.15. The learned Assistant Solicitor General added to the above by saying that the terms of the contract are critical, but that it does not inspire confidence since the credentials and the capacity of Sprinklr does not appear to have been – at least going by the statement filed by the State of Kerala before this Court now – properly assessed, verified or satisfied. He further submitted that there was no requirement for the State of Kerala to have gone in search of entities outside India when there are several Companies in India equally or more competent; and that had they approached the Government of India, they would have been able to give the same or better support to them, as are now been stated to be offered by Sprinklr, through the National Informatics Centre (NIC).16. The learned Assistant Solicitor General then appraised us that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is firm in their resolve that sensitive personal data of Indian citizens should always be in the control of the State and should necessarily be stored in the State Data Centres or in the National Data Centres. He then said that the Government of Kerala has to ensure that the data is collected only for the purposes for which it is required; that they should anonymise all such before it is shared with any third party service providers for a due cause; and that such personal data should be confirmed to have been purged after completion of the purposes for which it has been collected.17. We must record at this juncture that after we heard the learned Assistant Solicitor General of India on the afore lines, the learned Additional Advocate General conceded that there is no impediment in the Government of Kerala approaching the Government of India for obtaining the assistance of NIC and that they will consider making such a request in due course, so that a viable alternative can be obtained to substitute the services of Sprinklr, particularly after the period of the contract is over. He added that this is also because the services of Sprinklr is free only for six months from the date of contract and the Government of Kerala will certainly have to search alternatives at that point of time.18. As regards the submissions of the learned Assistant Solicitor General regarding anonymisation of the data, the learned Additional Advocate General confirmed that the Government of Kerala will only provide anonymised data to Sprinklr and that all the available data, including the ones to be now obtained, will be so done before any further access is given.19. We have carefully examined the pleadings and materials on record – in particular the statements filed by the Government of India and the Government of Kerala in response to the averments in W.P.(C)No. 84/2020.20. At the outset, we must say that we are not willing, at this stage, to speak affirmatively on the various allegations made by the petitioners, since we are of the view that it will require a comprehensive assessment of all factors, for which the respondents certainly must obtain necessary opportunity to complete their pleadings.21. Further, since, as we have already noticed above, the Government of Kerala adopts the unequivocal position that they cannot continue the fight against COVID-19 without the assistance of the software provided by Sprinklr, we do not think it will be prudent on our part, when our country and the whole world is fighting the pandemic, to issue any orders that would create a perception of impeding such effort.22. Therefore, as at present, we deem it apposite to confine our focus on ensuring that there is no breach of confidentiality of the data collected by the State and processed by Sprinklr, and since we are not in a position to conclusively persuade ourselves that the terms of the impugned contract would effectively ensure it, we feel it requisite to issue the following directions as an interim measure; also so as to enable this Court to obtain an overall control over the conduct of the parties in terms of the contract with respect to data confidentiality.23. We are also guided to do so, impelled by the singular intent to ensure that there is no “data epidemic” after the COVID-19 epidemic is controlled.24. Resultantly:(a) We hereby direct the Government of Kerala and its concerned Departments to anonymise all the data that have been collected and collated from the citizens of the State with respect to the COVID-19 epidemic, as also with respect to all data to be collected in the future and to allow Sprinklr to have further access to any such data only after the process of anonymisation is completed.(b) The Government of Kerala is directed to inform every citizen, from whom data is to be taken in future, that such data is likely to be accessed by Sprinklr or other third party service providers and their specific consent to such effect shall be obtained in the necessary forms or formats.c. We hereby injunct Sprinklr from committing any act which will be, directly or indirectly, in breach of confidentiality of the data entrusted to them for analysis/processing by the Government of Kerala under the impugned contract/s; and that they shall not disclose or part with any such data to any third party/person/entity – of whatever nature or compositio

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n – anywhere in the world.d. We further order that Sprinklr shall not, directly or indirectly, deal with the data or any part of it entrusted to them by the Government of Kerala under the impugned contract/s, in conflict with the various confidentiality clauses/caveats therein; and that they will forthwith entrust back all such data to the Government of Kerala as soon as their contractual obligation, as regards its analysis/processing, is completed as per the requirements under the impugned contract/s.e. Since the Government of Kerala has taken the position before us that, according to them, no data is available with Sprinklr as of now, any residual or secondary data available with the latter shall be immediately entrusted back by them to the Government and this shall be treated as a peremptory order.f. As a necessary corollary to the above directions, we further injunct Sprinklr from advertising or representing or holding over to any third party/person/entity – of whatever nature or composition – that they are in possession or have access to any data regarding COVID-19 patients or persons vulnerable/susceptible to it; and that they shall not use or exploit any such data, or the name and the official logo of the Government of Kerala, directly or indirectly, for any commercial benefit and will deal with such in full confidence to the citizens of Kerala.List these matters on 18.5.2020 for further consideration, within which time, we direct the respondents to complete their pleadings.
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