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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 (Aurangabad Bench)

Shantaram vs. The State of Maharashtra and Ors.

Dignity, Informational Privacy

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 31.01.2019
Citation - 2019 (2) ALLMR 375, MANU/MH/0154/2019
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - Rule 41 of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Rules, 1966.
S. 8 of the Representation of People's Act, 1951
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Important Quote

"... In view of the right of privacy, which arises out of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and in view of the policy accepted by the Parliament, which can be seen in Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, it can be said that we have to presume that the period must be reasonable period if such period is not mentioned in the regulations and rules made by the State Government for the purpose of disqualification or eligibility to contest the elections." "After undergoing the sentence, it can be said that the convict has right to say that he needs to be allowed to forget the past and he needs to be allowed to make new beginning. The others also cannot be allowed to harass him and to deprive him of aforesaid rights and the previous conviction cannot be allowed to haunt him for the remaining period of his life. It is learnt that a Commission headed by Justice B.N. Shrikrishna, Former Hon'ble Judge of Supreme Court, is appointed to prepare a draft of personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, which will protect right to privacy and steps are likely to be taken to see that the data of criminal activity of a person is erased after particular period from the relevant records of the agencies. It will be proper step on the part of the State to take such steps in view of the right of privacy of such persons."

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Notes

Right to privacy requires that persons who have served a legal sentence should come out of disqualification from contesting elections after a reasonable period of time.

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Dnyaneshwar vs. The State of Maharashtra and Ors.

Surveillance, Search and Seizure

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 29.11.2019
Citation - 2020 ALLMR (Cri) 2718, MANU/MH/3334/2019
Case Type - Writ Petition (Crl.)
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 161 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951.
S.165 of CrPC, 1973
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Important Quote

"... as police officers entered the house that too in night time when he was sleeping with his family which included two ladies and the issues, this Court holds that it was intrusion into privacy. If such act is done illegally without following the procedure which is contemplated in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the consequences follow. In such a case, there cannot be defence that it was a mistake on the part of the police officers."

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Notes

Illegal house searches at night are 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.