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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 September 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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Telangana High Court

Ramgopal Varma and Ors. vs. Perumalla Amrutha

Informational Privacy, Press Freedom || Telangana High Court

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 06.11.2020
Citation - MANU/TL/0352/2020
Case Type - Civil Misc. Appeal
Case Status - Disposed.
Legal Provisions - S. 3(ii)(v) of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
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Important Quote

"No doubt a person undoubtedly has a right to privacy in relation to her family, marriage, procreation, motherhood and child-bearing and none can publish anything concerned with these matters without his/her consent. Yet, there is an exception to the said rule i.e., that any publication concerning these aspects would become unobjectionable if such publication is based upon public records including court records. In other words, once the matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy is no longer subsisting and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment for press and media among others. There are of course some exceptions to this exception, with which we are not concerned."

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Notes

Once the matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy is no longer subsisting and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by the press and media.

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xxxx vs. Union of India and Ors.

Bodily Integrity, Dignity || Telangana High Court

1 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 05.10.2021
Citation - MANU/TL/0747/2021
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Disposed
Legal Provisions - S. 3(2) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021
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Important Quote

"This Court is of the opinion that the life of the foetus or to be born child cannot be placed at higher pedestal than that of the life of the petitioner. The dignity, self-respect, healthy living (mental or physical) etc. are facets of right to life and personal liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which also include right of a woman to make a choice of pregnancy and terminate pregnancy, in case, where pregnancy is caused by rape or sexual abuse or for that matter unplanned pregnancy, subject to reasonable restrictions under law."

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Notes

The right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution encompasses reproductive rights, subject to reasonable restrictions under law.

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Aktar Begum vs. State of Telangana, rep. by its Prl. Secretary to Government and Others

Autonomy, Bodily Integrity || Telangana High Court

2 Judge

Case Details

Decision Date - 17.02.2022
Citation - MANU/TL/0238/2022
Case Type - Writ Petition
Case Status - Petition Allowed
Legal Provisions - S. 3 of the Telangana Prevention Of Dangerous Activities Of Boot-leggers, Dacoits, Drug-offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders Land-grabbers, Spurious Seed Offenders, Insecticide Offenders, Fertiliser Offenders, Food Adulteration Offenders, Fake Document Offenders, Scheduled Commodities Offenders, Forest Offenders, Gaming Offenders, Sexual Offenders, Explosive Substances Offenders, Arms Offenders, Cyber Crime Offenders And White Collar Or Financial Offenders Act, 1986.
Article 20, 21, 22, 31-B, 31-C, 32 of the Constitution of India, 1950
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Important Quote

"Ordinarily, no person can be arrested/detained unless crime is reported. Act 1 of 1986 makes an exception to this salutary principle. It vests extraordinary power in the Government or in its delegatee to detain a person even before a crime is committed by him. Perforce, this power of detention is not to be exercised as a matter of course. As it seeks to offend the most sacred of the rights, right to life, liberty and privacy, there are three primary requirements need to be answered by the law enforcing agency before invoking the provisions of Section 3 of the Act, 1986."

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Notes

The power of preventive detention cannot be excercised as a matter of course since it violates the right to life, liberty and privacy.

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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.