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 June 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.Show methodology
Autonomy, Dignity || Jammu and Kashmir High Court
Decision Date - 02.07.2018
Citation -III (2018) DMC 76, MANU/JK/0752/2018
Case Type - Other Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - Article 21 of Constitution of India, 1950
"In Justice KS Puttasivamy vs. Union of India, this Court in a decision of nine Judges held that the ability to make decisions on matters close to one's life is an inviolable aspect of the human personality."Read more
The ability to make decisions on matters close to one's life such as marriage is a part of the right to privacy.Read more
Press Freedom, Informational Privacy || Jammu and Kashmir High Court
Decision Date - 13.10.2021
Citation - MANU/JK/0748/2021
Case Type - Criminal Misc. Case
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 499 of CrPC,1973
"As already noted, in R. Rajagopal's case (supra), the Supreme Court has clearly emphasized that once a matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy no longer subsists and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by press and media among others. The Court has further observed that publication of the matters relating to conduct relevant to the discharge of official functions of a public figure is not defamation. Therefore, on the touchstone of the broad principles enunciated by the Supreme Court in the aforenoted case, the reporting of contents of letter written by Shri Khalid Jahangir touching the official functioning of the department that was under the Ministry headed by the complainant, would not amount to offence of defamation."Read more
Broadcasting of information by a news channel, particularly relating to public figures, that is already in the public domain and is a matter of public interest does not violate an individual's right to privacy.Read more
Bodily Integrity, Autonomy || Jammu and Kashmir High Court
Decision Date - 16.03.2023
Citation - 2023 SCC OnLine J&K 197
Case Type - Civil Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 3(2), 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971; Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950
"From the foregoing enunciation of law on the subject, by the Supreme Court, it is clear that a woman, whether married or unmarried, has a right to get rid of her unwanted pregnancy. It is on the basis of this principle that various High Courts of the Country and also the Supreme Court have allowed the termination of pregnancy of more than 24 weeks, though the Statute does not provide for the same."Read more
Constitutional Courts can allow termination of pregnancies beyond 24 weeks in the interest of protecting the fundamental rights of the woman, including the right to live with dignity, the right to bodily integrity, and the right to choice.Read more
Informational Privacy, Bodily Integrity || Jammu and Kashmir High Court
Decision Date - 15.09.2023
Citation - WP(Crl) No. 37/2023 and CM No. 2738/2023
Case Type - Criminal Writ Petition
Case Status - Petition Allowed
Legal Provisions - Art. 21 of the Constitution of India, Rule 703 of the Police Rules, 1960
"If the officer, mechanically under the guise of prevention of crime and to protect others, open or extend history sheets, which has an impact on the right of privacy of not only the individual against whom the order is passed, but also causes harm to other person’s rights. Therefore, a fair and reasonable decision should be taken, taking into consideration the constitutional rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the interests of the State. It should be noted that at the time of opening a history sheet, the individual is not informed of a decision taken by the authorities behind his back and that the information collected is discreet. Needless to say that every person wants to live with dignity and he/she cannot be condemned arbitrarily. It is also to be borne in mind that estrangement of the members of the history sheeted person in social gathering etc., is not uncommon in order in our society. Therefore, opening or retention of history sheets, which interferes with the right of privacy of a person, should be done strictly, adhering to parameters inbuilt in the police rules, keeping in mind the object sought to be achieved."Read more
Opening or retention of history sheets, which interferes with the right to privacy, must be done strictly, in compliance with the procedural safeguards built in.Read more
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 - email@example.com with the details of any privacy case we may not have included from any High Court in India.