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Privacy High Court Tracker

Open Spreadsheet

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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Bombay High Court

XYZ vs. Union of India and Ors.

Autonomy, Bodily Integrity

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 03.04.2019
Citation - 2019 (5) ALLMR 531, MANU/MH/0565/2019
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 3(2)(b), 4 and 5 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
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Important Quote

"It is important to recognize that reproductive choices can be exercised to procreate as well as to abstain from procreating. The crucial consideration is that a woman's right to privacy, dignity and bodily integrity should be respected. This means that there should be no restriction whatsoever on the exercise of reproductive choices such as a woman's right to refuse participation in sexual activity or alternatively the insistence on use of contraceptive methods. Furthermore, women are also free to choose birth control methods such as undergoing sterilisation procedures. Taken to their logical conclusion, reproductive rights include a woman's entitlement to carry a pregnancy to its full term, to give birth and to subsequently raise children. ... Therefore, in a situation where the continuance of pregnancy poses grave injury to the physical or mental health of the mother or in a situation where there is substantial risk that if the child were born, would suffer from deformities and diseases, the pregnant mother is forced to continue with her pregnancy merely because the pregnancy has extended beyond the ceiling of 20 weeks, there would arise a serious affront to the fundamental right of such mother to privacy, to exercise a reproductive choices, to bodily integrity, to her dignity."

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Notes

Right to make reproductive choices and terminate pregnancy is part of women's right to privacy.

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Vinit Kumar vs. CBI and Ors.

Search and Seizure, Surveillance, Phone Tapping

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 22.10.2019
Citation - 2019 ALLMR (Cri) 5227, MANU/MH/2931/2019
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885
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Important Quote

"The proposition that illegal tapping of telephone conversation violates right to privacy is now accepted and reinforced as guaranteed fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, by a nine Judge Constitution Benchdecision in K.S. Puttaswamy versus Union of India."

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Notes

Illegal phone tapping is violative of the right to privacy.

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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.