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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 December 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 (Goa Bench)

Tarunjit Tejpal vs. State of Goa

Informational Privacy

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 24.11.2021
Citation - MANU/MH/3984/2021
Case Type - Criminal Misc. Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 327(2) of CrPC, 1973. Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950
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Important Quote

"There is no embargo or restriction on the applicant to argue his case freely nor his right to argue his case can be curtailed. In proceedings such as these i.e. rape cases in general, it is expected that all parties conduct themselves with dignity, sobriety and some sensitivity that is required, particularly, whilst reading evidence pertaining to intimate details. This, we think is not too much to expect from the Advocates appearing for the respective parties. Maintaining decorum in the courtroom is not merely a superficial means of protecting the image of lawyers and judges - but it is absolutely essential to the administration of justice."

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Notes

Rejecting in-camera proceedings by the court would not violate the right to privacy and dignity of the applicant. Also, such rejection would not violate the right to defend oneself freely.

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C. Radhakrishnan vs Public Information Officer and Ors

Right to Know and Access Information

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 08.09.2021
Citation - MANU/MH/4067/2021
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Dismissed
Legal Provisions - S. 8 (1) (j) of Right to Information Act, 2005
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Important Quote

"Insofar as R. Rajagopal alias R.R. Gopal (supra) is concerned, it is an admitted position that the said judgment was rendered before the aforesaid Act was enacted. A perusal of the same shows that when a question arises regarding information pertaining to public officials, the right to privacy may not be available where the information sought pertains to the acts and conduct of the public officials relevant to discharge of official duties." "There cannot be any doubt about the fact that invasion of privacy has to be construed in the facts of each case and, in any case, when it is found that divulging of such information can be said to in larger public interest, the exemption under Section 8(1) (j) of the said Act, would not be available.""

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Notes

Disclosure of personal information pertaining to public officials may not tantamount to invasion of privacy if made in the interest of the public and relates to discharge of official duties.

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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.