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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 December 2023 (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 || Allahabad High Court

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
View Case

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 || Allahabad High Court

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
View Case

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 || Allahabad High Court

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
View Case

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 || Allahabad High Court

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
View Case

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 || Allahabad High Court

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
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

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 || Allahabad High Court

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
View Case

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 || Allahabad High Court

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
View Case

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 || Allahabad High Court

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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Guruvinder Singh vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Dignity, Bodily Integrity || Allahabad High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 04.10.2021
Citation - MANU/UP/1855/2021
Case Type - Bail Order
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 354 and 509 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. S 161 and 164 of CrPC, 1973

Important Quote

"It would be appropriate to observe that the sexually explicit images or videos may be made by a partner of an intimate relationship with the knowledge and consent of the subject, or it may be made without his or her knowledge, however, the same if used as a form of revenge or harassment would definitely distort/damage the dignity of concerned and the Court in such type of cases cannot close its eyes and being parens patriae and protector of fundamental rights, the Court should come forward to protect the right of the subject and similarly the Court should stringently deal with the person concerned."

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Notes

Sharing sexually explicit images or videos made with consent, for the purpose of revenge or harrassment, violates the privacy and dignity of an individual.

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Saumya Tiwari vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Dignity || Allahabad High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 16.12.2021
Citation - (2022) 1 All LJ 732
Case Type - Writ Petition (Civil)
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - Article 14, 15, 16, 19, 21 of the Constitution of India,1950.
S. 29 of Uttar Pradesh Technical University Act, 2000
View Case

Important Quote

"The need to ameliorate the constraints imposed by pregnancy and its aftermath and to dignify motherhood by providing institutional support systems for expectant mothers and new mothers is an imperative command of law. The respondent University has to implement the fundamental rights of the petitioner vested by the aforesaid pronouncements of law made by constitutional courts."

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Notes

Disallowing a woman to appear for exams due to pregnancy violates her right to live with dignity and privacy. Providing prenatal and postnatal support, and other maternity benefits to students is a statutory function of the university.

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Mohan Singh vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Bodily Integrity || Allahabad High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 06.08.2022
Citation- MANU/UP/2039/2022
Case Type - Criminal appeal
Case Status - Disposed
Legal provision - S. 75, 233 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. S. 302 of the Indian Penal Code 1860
View Case

Important Quote

"While making such observation, this Court is mindful of the fact that DNA test is not to be directed as a matter of routine and in only deserving cases where strong prima facie case is made out, such direction may be given. Since the life of the applicant is stake as he is accused of offence under Section 302 IPC, it is must to ascertain and test the truthfulness of the prosecution case. Considering the facts and circumstances in entirety, this Court is of the opinion that to arrive at just decision of the case and to avoid any suspicion or doubt in the prosecution case, it would be in the interest of justice that DNA test may be conducted and thus the learned Court below has committed an illegallity in passing the impugned order, therefore the same is liable to be set aside."

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Notes

The right to privacy is taken into consideration while ordering for a DNA test only if the test is being ordered to establish paternity or similar relationship. However, if a person has sought for a DNA test to prove his innocence then it would not be violative of their right to privacy.

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Md. Sameer Rao vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Dignity, Autonomy || Allahabad High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 25.05.2023
Citation - 023/AHC/121065, MANU/UP/1402/2023
Case Type - Civil Writ Petition
Case Status - Allowed
Legal Provisions - Article 14, 17, 19 (1), 21, 25 of the Constitution of India.
View Case

Important Quote

"The restrictions contained in Regulation 40 [of the relevant regulations framed under the Uttar Pradesh Intermediate Education Act, 1921] are disproportionate and in nature of prohibitions and fail the test of reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 and Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The restrictions in Regulation 40 are arbitrary and infringe the fundamental right to choose and change [one's own] name vested by virtue of Article 19(1)(a), Article 21 and Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Regulation 40 is accordingly read down."

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Notes

A person's name is an inalienable and indispensable aspect of their identity, and is protected by their right to privacy. Consequently, the court read down Regulation 40 under the Uttar Pradesh Intermediate Education Act, 1921 which arbitrarily restricted individuals from changing their name.

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Mahant Prasad Ram Tripathi vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

Phone Tapping, Surveillance, Search and Seizure || Allahabad High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 23.08.2023
Citation - Criminal Revision Petition No. 935 of 2023,2023/AHC-LKO/56067
Case Type - Criminal Revision Petition
Case Status - Revision Dismissed
Legal Provisions - Sec. 397 and 401 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Sec. 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, Sec.7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
View Case

Important Quote

"The law is clear that any evidence cannot be refused to be admitted by the Court on the ground that it had been obtained illegally... Therefore, whether the telephonic conversation between the two accused persons was intercepted or not and whether it was done legally or not, would not affect the admissibility of the recorded conversation in evidence against the applicant."

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Notes

This case reiterated that illegally obtained evidence does not automatically become inadmissible. Therefore if the contents of a conversation obtained through illegal phone tapping are relevant to the case, they would be admissible.

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Pinki v. State of UP

Autonomy || Allahabad High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 15.02.2024 .
Citation - 2024:AHC:26454
Case Type - Civil Writ Petition
Case Status - Dismissed.
Legal Provisions - Sections 8 and 9 of Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021.
View Case

Important Quote

"Perusal of record shows that in the present case petitioner no.1 is legally wedded wife of respondent no.5. There is no document on record to show that petitioner no.1 has obtained any decree of divorce from the court of competent jurisdiction, hence she is still legally wedded wife of respondent no.5 and she is living in adultery with petitioner no.2. The court could not protect such type of relationship which is not supported by law. If the court indulge in such type of cases and grant protection to illegal relationship, then it will create chaos in the society. The petitioner no.1 alongwith her 5 years old female child has left the house of her husband/respondent no.5 without any reasonable cause, hence such type of illegal relationship need not be protected by court. Therefore, the petitioners are not entitled to get any type of protection from this Court. The petition has no force and is liable to be dismissed with cost."

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Notes

Court did not provide protection to an inter-religious couple in a live-in relationship where one of partners continued to be legally wedded to another and had not obtained a divorce before moving in with her live-in partner.

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Priyank Jain v. Principal Judge, Family Court, Lko. and Ors.

Informational Privacy || Allahabad High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 13.02.2024
Citation - 2024:AHC-LKO:12762
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Petition allowed.
Legal Provisions - Order XXXII- A, Rules 1 to 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 13, 21-B, 21-C and 22 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Sections 10, 13, 14, 16, 17 of the Family Courts Act, 1984, Sections 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (""Cr.P.C"") Article 227 of the Indian Constitution, 1950.
View Case

Important Quote

"Section 22 (Hindu Marriage Act, 1955) directed that the proceedings be held in camera and may not be printed or publicized. The basic purpose of enacting the aforesaid provisions was to achieve the goal of getting the matrimonial proceedings decided not only expeditiously but to cut short the procedural technicalities and ensure privacy to an extent."

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Notes

Section 22 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, mandates proceedings to be conducted in camera and prohibits printing or publicity to enhance privacy in matrimonial disputes.

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Aftab Alam v. State of UP and Ors.

Dignity, Surveillance, Search and Seizure || Allahabad High Court

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 04.03.2024
Citation - 2024:AHC:38390-DB
Case Type - Criminal Misceallaneous Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - Sections 482 Cr.P.C, Article 227 of the Indian Constitution, 1950.
View Case

Important Quote

"The history sheet has been subject to constitutional challenge on privacy grounds. The Supreme Court has recognized that police surveillance based upon a history sheet implicates a limited right to privacy implicit in the Constitutional right to life and personal liberty. According to the Court, every individual's autonomy should be respected; there is a right to be left alone. However, the right to privacy is not absolute and the creation of a history sheet and surveillance of the history-sheeter is not unconstitutional if carried out in compliance with legal standards or, in the absence of standards, if conducted reasonably. In one case, the Hon'ble Supreme Court struck down home visits as infringing on the right to personal liberty and freedom of movement. ... The history sheet, including a photo of the history-sheeter, is a confidential record. The police is not authorized to disclose to public or private employers whether a job applicant or employee is a history-sheeter, much less what information the history sheet contains. However, the surveillance/crime control purpose of the history sheet requires that police officers have easy access to the history sheet. Local police can only monitor and surveil record-subjects if they know who they are. The history sheet is supposed to be shared with the Railway Police. If the history-sheeter moves to another jurisdiction, the history sheet is transferred to the new jurisdiction's police department. Moreover, for proper reasons, the police may show the public a history-sheeter's photos, when necessary, to capture a fugitive or solve a crime."

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Notes

The Court could not issue a writ of certiorari quashing the history-sheet opened against the petitioner, however it provided the petitioner the liberty to make a comprehensive representation before the Deputy Inspector General of Police to not keep the petitioner under continuous surveillance.

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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.