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Privacy High Court Tracker

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The CCG Privacy High Court Tracker is a resource consisting of decisions on the constitutional right to privacy passed by all High Courts in India. The Privacy High Court Tracker captures cases post the pronouncement of the Justice (Retd.) K.S. Puttaswamy vs. Union of India (Puttaswamy) judgment. In Puttaswamy, the Supreme Court of India reaffirmed the existence of the right to privacy in India’s Constitution as a fundamental right. 

The Privacy High Court Tracker is a tool to enable lawyers, judges, policymakers, legislators, civil society organisations, academic and policy researchers and other relevant stakeholders, to engage with, understand and analyse the evolving privacy law and jurisprudence across India. The cases deal with the following aspects of privacy (1) autonomy, (2) bodily integrity, (3) data protection, (4) dignity, (5) informational privacy, (6) phone tapping, (7) press freedom, (8) right to know and access information, and (9) surveillance, search and seizure. 

The tracker currently only consists of cases reported on Manupatra, and those reported upto 15 May 2021 (CCG will continue to update the tracker periodically). Only final judgements are included in the tracker, and not interim orders of the High Courts. 

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Allahabad High Court

Rajiv Kumar vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Dignity, Informational Privacy

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 11.03.2019
Citation - 2019 (4) ADJ 316, MANU/UP/1164/2019
Case Type - Civil Misc. Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 452, 323, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
S. 3(1)(10) of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
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Important Quote

"The right of privacy of a child would be meaningful if such prosecution is not made part of public discourse as a criteria for appointment to public posts or admission to any institution of learning or for that matter any other transaction in life. ... Similarly, the right to privacy in the context of a child would include his right to deny information relating to his prosecution as a child under the Juvenile Justice Act and for offences which do not come in the category of heinous offences under the said Act."

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Notes

Right to privacy of a child would include the right to deny information relating to his prosecution as a child for offences not falling in the category of heinous offences.

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Anant Narayan Mishra vs. Union of India and Ors.

Dignity

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 02.12. 2019
Citation - (2020) ILR 1 All 598, MANU/UP/4662/2019
Case Type - Civil Misc. Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, 1950
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Important Quote

"The essence of proportionality is that, the competent authority while imposing a punishment upon a delinquent student, has to co-relate and balance the imperatives of institutional discipline with the demands of individual rights. Too light a punishment will not be conducive to institutional discipline. Too harsh a punishment will not be consistent with norms of justice. The suspension of the petitioner from the university, for an undefined or indefinite period, is an action of extreme severity. It is a de-facto expulsion from the university. These actions carry drastic penal consequences for the students. Denial of education to a soul, in quest of knowledge is the severest form of restriction. Moreover, the instigatory role of the Professor Y in causing the incident, has not been factored into the decision. The measures undertaken against the petitioner, are not rationally connected to the fulfillment of the purpose sought to be achieved. The proper and designated purpose of a punishment in a university, has to include reform of the student, not mere imposition of penalty. Clearly there are alternative reformative measures, that can achieve the same purpose, with a lesser degree of curtailment of the students rights. The impugned action fails the test of proportionality."

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Notes

Right to Human Dignity includes privacy under Art. 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950.

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In-Re Banners Placed On Road Side in The City of Lucknow vs. State of U.P.

Informational Privacy

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 09.03.2020
Citation - 2020 (5) ALJ 609, MANU/UP/0676/2020
Case Type - Public Interest Litigation
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950
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Important Quote

"The legitimate goal as held by the Supreme Court in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy (supra) ... must be necessary for a democratic society for a legitimate aim."

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Notes

Right to privacy is violated by road side display of banners containing photographs, names and addresses of persons accused of vandalism

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Ram Charan Jatav vs. State of U.P.

Surveillance, Search and Seizure

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 30.04.2020
Citation - 2021 (1) ALJ 632, MANU/UP/0933/2020
Case Type - Criminal Appeal
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 18, 20 and 42 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985
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Important Quote

"In K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India, it has been remarked that right to privacy is a fundamental right and is not lost in public places, but attaches to the person."

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Notes

Right to privacy is violated if the formal legal procedure of search and seizure is not followed.

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Kishan Paswan vs. Union of India and Ors.

Dignity, Informational Privacy

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 22.10.2020
Citation - 2021 (1) ALJ 588, MANU/UP/2197/2020
Case Type - Civil Misc. Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 19 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and
Protection of Children) Act, 2000. S. 24, 74 and 99 of the Juvenile
Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
Rule 14 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016
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Important Quote

"The requirement to disclose details of criminal prosecutions faced as a juvenile is violative of the right to privacy and the right to reputation of a child guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It also denudes the child of the protection assured by the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 (as amended from time to time). Hence the employer cannot ask any candidate to disclose details of criminal prosecution faced as a juvenile."

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Notes

The requirement to disclose details of criminal prosecutions faced as a juvenile is violative of the right to privacy and the right to reputation of a child guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

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Salamat Ansari and Ors. vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Autonomy

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 11.11.2020
Citation - 2021 (1) ALJ 453, MANU/UP/2029/2020
Case Type - Criminal Misc. Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 363, 366, 352, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
S. 7 and 8 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012
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Important Quote

"Right to choose a partner irrespective of caste, creed or religion, is inhered under right to life and personal liberty, an integral part of the Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Apex Court in KS Puttaswamy vs. Union of India while deciding the issue of right to privacy, held as under:- "Privacy of the body entitles an individual to the integrity of the physical aspects of personhood. The intersection between one's mental integrity and privacy entitles the individual to freedom of thought, the freedom to believe in what is right, and the freedom of self-determination. When these guarantees intersect with gender, they create a private space which protects all those elements which are crucial to gender identity. The family, marriage, procreation and sexual orientation are all integral to the dignity of the individual. Above all, the privacy of the individual recognises an inviolable right to determine how freedom shall be exercised." "An individual on attaining majority is statutorily conferred a right to choose a partner, which if denied would not only affect his/her human right but also his/her right to life and personal liberty, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

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Notes

An individual, after attaining majority, is entitled to the autonomy of choosing their partner, which is an aspect of right to privacy.

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Safiya Sultana and Ors. vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Informational Privacy

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 12.01.2021
Citation - 2021 (2) ALJ 363, MANU/UP/0011/2021
Case Type - Habeas Corpus
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 5, 6, 7 and 46 of Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion
Ordinance, 2020
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Important Quote

"The interpretation of Sections 6 and 7 read with Section 46 containing the procedure of publication of notice and inviting objections to the intended marriage in Act of 1954 thus has to be such that would uphold the fundamental rights and not violate the same. In case the same on their simplistic reading are held mandatory, as per the law declared today, they would invade in the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy, including within its sphere freedom to choose for marriage without interference from state and non-state actors, of the persons concerned."

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Notes

Provision of mandatory public notice under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an invasion of the right to privacy.

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Anuj Kumar vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Dignity, Informational Privacy

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 30.04.2021
Citation - MANU/UP/0591/2021
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provision - S. 74, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015
View Case

Important Quote

"The requirement to disclose details of criminal prosecutions faced as a juvenile is violative of the right to privacy and the right to reputation of a child guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It also denudes the child of the protection assured by the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 (as amended from time to time). Hence the employer cannot ask any candidate to disclose details of criminal prosecution faced as a juvenile."

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Notes

Right to privacy of a child to include the right to deny information relating to his prosecution as a child for a heinous crime.

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Methodology

The Privacy High Court Tracker has been developed using judgements pulled from the Manupatra case law database. Through its search function, CCG identified cases that relied upon the Puttaswamy judgment and were pertaining to the right to privacy, and filtered them by each of the 25 High Courts in India. These were then further examined to identify those cases whose decisions concerned a core aspect of privacy. CCG identified the following aspects of privacy (1) autonomy, (2) bodily integrity, (3) data protection, (4) dignity, (5) informational privacy, (6) phone tapping, (7) press freedom, (8) right to know and access information, and (9) surveillance, search and seizure. Cases where only incidental or passing observations or references were made to Puttaswamy and the right to privacy were not included in the tracker. The selected cases were then compiled into the database per High Court, with several details highlighted for ease of reference. These details consist of case name, decision date, case citation and number, case status, legal provisions involved, and bench strength. The tracker also includes select quotes concerning the right to privacy from each case, to assist users to more easily and quickly grasp the crux of the case. 

For ease of access to the text of the judgments, each case on our tracker is linked to the Indian Kanoon version of the judgment (wherever available) or an alternative open-access version of the judgment text.

We welcome your feedback. In addition, you may write to us at - ccg@nludelhi.ac.in with the details of any privacy case we may not have included from any High Court in India.