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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 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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Karnataka High Court

Bushra Abdul Aleem and Ors. vs. Government of Karnataka, Department of Health and Family Welfare and Ors.

Autonomy

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 30.08.2019
Citation - ILR 2020 KARNATAKA 963, MANU/KA/6862/2019
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - S. 2(g), 3 and 6 of the the Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act, 2012 as amended by the Karnataka Act No. 35 of 2017. The Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates completed Medical Course Rules 2015
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Important Quote

"Although, an exhaustive enumeration or catalogue of entitlements or interests comprised in right to privacy is left undetermined; Privacy includes at its core, the preservation of personal intimacies, sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, home and sexual orientation. "Privacy also connotes right to be left alone"; Privacy safeguards individual autonomy and recognizes ability of individual to control vital aspects of his or her life. Personal choices governing way of life are intrinsic to privacy." "The Apex Court in the second K.S. Puttaswamy (Adhaar) Vs. UOI, has held that the Right to Privacy can be abridged by a just, fair & reasonable law as any other Fundamental Rights can be; such abridgment has to fulfill the test of proportionality i.e., it should be proportionate to the need for such interference; in addition to this, the law in question must also provide procedural guarantees against abuse of such interference; abridgment has to be co-terminus with true requirement; going by this standard, it is difficult to countenance petitioners' argument that the impugned Act is constitutionally invalid, especially when State's power to compel citizens to render public service is sanctioned under Article 23(1) of the Constitution."

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Notes

Compulsory medical service is not violative of the right to privacy.

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Sudarshan vs. State of Karnataka and Ors.

Surveillance, Search and Seizure

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 11.08.2020
Citation - 2020 (6) KarLJ 495, MANU/KA/2725/2020
Case Type - Criminal Petition
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - S. 482 of CrPC, 1973.
Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India, 1950
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Important Quote

"There is no merit in the contention that collection of voice samples for the purpose of comparing that with voice in phone conversation records amounts to self incrimination and violative of Article 20(3) of the Constitution."

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Notes

Collection of voice samples for the purpose of comparing that with the voice in phone conversation records does not amount to self incrimination or breach of privacy.

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M.K. Pushpitha vs. State of Karnataka and Ors

Surveillance, Search and Seizure

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision date - 04.08.2021
Citation - MANU/KA/3480/2021
Case type - Criminal Misc. Writ Petition
Case status - Writ petition allowed
Legal provisions - S. 380, 403, 409, and 420 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. S. 53 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
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Important Quote

"On the other hand, the act of the Police arresting the petitioner, seizing the articles prior to registering of the FIR is illegal and search and seizure in non-cognizable offences amounts to violation of right of privacy and the liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of Constitution of India. Therefore, registering the FIR after conducting the investigation is bad in law in view of the principles laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Lalitha Kumari stated supra. Therefore, the Police shall not be allowed to conduct investigation, which amounts to abuse of process of law. Hence, the FIR registered against the petitioner requires to be quashed."

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Notes

Registration of FIR is mandatory if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence.

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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.