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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 June 2022 (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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Madhya Pradesh High Court (Jabalpur Bench)

Shashimani Mishra and Ors. vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors.

Autonomy, Dignity

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 17.06.2019
Citation -MANU/MP/0435/2019
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - S. 13(3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and Regulation 12 of the Regulations.
S. 43, 268 and 278 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
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Important Quote

"The Conduct of the Petitioners may be at divergence from the established social norm. It may be based upon a perception which may not find the approval of many yet, the Petitioners have the right to be different in thought, perception and action. ... yet, under no circumstances can the State intervene and disturb the right to privacy of the Petitioners if the said act does not come within the ambit and scope of an offence or an illegality."

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Notes

The State has no right to intervene and disturb a person's right to privacy so long as his act does not constitute an offence or an illegality.

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Pratyush Dwivedi and Ors. vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors.

Autonomy

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 17.12.2020
Citation - MANU/MP/1404/2020
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - Rule 12(2)(a) and Rule 10(3) of Madhya Pradesh Private
Medical and Dental Post Graduate Course Admission Rules 2017. Madhya Pradesh Niji Vyavsayik Shikshan Sanstha (Pravesh Ka
Viniyaman Avam Shulk Ka Nirdharan) Adhiniyam, 2007.
Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, 1950

Important Quote

"Contentions that the Bond Agreement violates ... Article 21 of the Constitution has also been settled with the decision in Association of Medical Super Speciality Aspirants & Residents (supra) wherein it is held: "private rights, when in conflict with public interest, have to take a back seat. ""

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Notes

Compulsory service bonds signed at the time of admission to a course are not violative of the right to privacy, life and liberty.

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Special Police Establishment vs. Shri Umesh Tiwari

Informational Privacy, Phone Tapping

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision date - 21.01.2022
Citation - MANU/MP/0121/2022
Case Type - Misc. Criminal Case
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 91 of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
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Important Quote

True it is that the right to privacy of the victim may be breached but if the production of the said call details can assist the Court in discovering truth and rendering justice in the matter then the Court has to adopt the due process before invoking Section 91, by affording opportunity to the person whose right to privacy is likely to be breached. This shall not only take care of the apprehension expressed by the complainant about the alleged breach of privacy but shall also ensure furtherance of the investigation/inquiry/trial/other proceedings in a free and fair manner thereby rendering justice and avoiding failure of justice. Thus, in the considered opinion of this Court, the trial Court ought to have heard the victim/complainant before passing the impugned order.

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Notes

When summoning telephone records under Section 91 of the Evidence Act, the due process of law must be followed and the person whose privacy maybe affected should be given a fair chance of being heard.

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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.