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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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Orissa High Court

Ananga Kumar Otta vs. Union of India and Ors.

Informational Privacy

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 16.08.2020
Citation - MANU/OR/0215/2020
Case Type - Writ Petition (PIL)
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - Regulation 3 (ix) of the Odisha COVID-19 Regulations, 2020. S. 33(m) read with S. 20-A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956
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Important Quote

"The right to privacy of them, being implicit in Article 21 of the Constitution, i.e., right-to life and liberty though not absolute and subjected to reasonable restriction, considering the adverse impact of such disclosure of identity of a patient and also persons in quarantine as well as their family members, as stated hereinbefore, we hope and trust that the State shall take further steps if not already taken to keep the personal information masked by applying appropriate method if not there, such as, providing code number for keeping the details in anonymity and keep utmost confidentiality of such information in different intradepartmental communication, as from the different instances brought to our notice, we have reason to believe that there is pilferage of the personal details unauthorisedly in some cases by some persons. So also, we hope and trust that before disclosing the identity of Covid-19 infected persons or persons in quarantine in exceptional circumstances, as stated in the Regulation, to achieve the goal, the State shall also must-take note the fact that the same is subject to scrutiny of triple test prescribed in the case of Puttaswamy (supra) before invasion of such right to privacy of the persons in quarantine/Covid- 19 infected persons alive ordeal."

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Notes

Public disclosure of identity of quarantined/Covid-19 infected persons is subject to scrutiny of the 'triple test' prescribed in the Puttaswamy case.

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Subhranshu Rout vs. State of Odisha

Dignity, Informational Privacy

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 23.11.2020
Citation - MANU/OR/0270/2020
Case Type - Bail Application
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - The Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011
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Important Quote

"Though the statute prescribes penal action for the accused for such crimes, the rights of the victim, especially, her right to privacy which is intricately linked to her right to get deleted in so far as those objectionable photos have been left unresolved. ... In such cases, either the victim herself or the prosecution may, if so advised, seek appropriate orders to protect the victim's fundamental right to privacy, by seeking appropriate orders to have such offensive posts erased from the public platform, irrespective of the ongoing criminal process."

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Notes

The right to privacy of a victim of sexual offences includes the right to have offensive posts erased from any public platform.

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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.