The adage "Man's house is believed to be his castle" emphasize that people have
a right to privacy. Every person has a private, secret aspect of their life that
cannot be revealed to the world. The idea of privacy has acquired a lot of
traction throughout the world and is now acknowledged as a fundamental right to
private. The definition of the right to privacy is essentially the ability of a
person to be left alone.
Privacy is the right which the individual mainly posses from their birth. The
overshadowing presence of state and non-state entity regulates the aspect of
socialization, which bear upon the privilege of the individual .The
self-direction and freedom of choice may, and frequently do, come into doubt as
a result of those associations. One of the rights that became more important
once the scope of Article 21 was expanded is the right to privacy.
As a natural
right, it is also regarded as such. These divine rights are known as natural
rights, and they are thought to supersede all other rights. Since privacy is an
inherent right, this is how it gets its essence. The right to privacy can be
defined in two aspects firstly in a Positive way and secondly in a Negative way.
The Positive right to privacy explains how to necessitate a devoir of state to
remove any difficulties for an independent shaping of individual identities.
the other hand, The Negative Individual's Right to Privacy presupposes that an
individual is protected from any unwelcome intrusion into their life by both the
state and private entities, especially when it comes to traits that define their
personal identity, such as sexual orientation, religion, and political
affiliation, i.e., the inwardness of a person's private life.
The rights to life and personal liberty are outlined in Article 21 of the Indian
Constitution, which is its core. One of the most important fundamental rights is
the right to life, which neither the state nor anyone else has the power to
restrict or revoke. Article 21 includes all the aspects of life that are
employed to give a person's life purpose. Article 21 defends the dignity of
human life and individual freedom.
Right To Privacy: A Fundamental Right
The right to privacy is unalienable. According to Black's Law Dictionary, the
term "right to privacy" is a general one that encompasses a number of rights
that have been declared constitutional in the context of ordered liberty. These
rights forbid the government from interfering in people's most private affairs
and their freedom to make important decisions that affect themselves, their
families, and their interactions with others. In order to safeguard a man's
ability to become and stay himself in his personal life, the right to privacy
has been upheld.
There are multiple opinions on privacy, some of which might be seen as essential
rights and others who might not. Even while it can be explained as a subset of
liberty, there are times when the idea of anonymity seems to be more expansive
than even liberty. In their constitutions, nearly all nations in the globe
acknowledged a right to privacy.
The courts in certain nations, including the
United States, Ireland, and India, where the right to privacy is not expressly
stipulated by the Constitution, have found it in other sections.
In the current
environment, where facial recognition technology or Adhaar ID eliminates
duplicate or fake IDs, the right to privacy has taken on greater significance.
As a result, these technology solutions are effective tools for assisting those
who are living in jeopardy due to the government plans for their well-being.
present paper inspects permissibility and expanse for right to privacy in
changed professional lays, at a time when biometrics and identity data is being
gathered for adaptable uses including search and superintendence.
Privacy is a Fundamental right recognized in the United Nation Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the International Treaty on Civil and Political
Rights and in many other international and regional treaties. It has become one
of the most predominant human rights issues of the modern age. The announcement
of this report reflects the growing importance, diverseness and complication of
this fundamental right.
The Privacy Bill, 2011
By virtue of this Bill, citizens are safeguarded against identity theft,
including financial and criminal identity theft. Without the approval of a
Secretary-level authority, the Bill forbids stealing communication lines. The
information gathered must be erased within two months of the intervention
ceasing. It makes sure that a Central Communication Interception Review
Committee is established to examine and evaluate the approved interception
Additionally, it is bound by the need to support the quick destruction
of any interposing that violates Section 5 of the Telegraph Act. Additionally,
it stops surveillance outside of specific instances allowed by the protocol.
No one whose place of business and data storage is located in India is allowed
to disclose any information about another person without that person's consent,
the bill states. Creating an Indian Data Protection Authority was mandated by
the Privacy Bill. The Indian Data Protection Authority will track advancements
in data processing and computer automation.
The goal of this is to evaluate the
law and look at how it affects data protection. The authority is additionally
required to solicit input and inform the public on any topic related to data
Any unlawful access can be looked into by the authority, and it has the
jurisdiction to issue instructions to confirm security interests. Unlawful
interceptions could result in jail time or a fine, the bill states, therefore
they should be avoided.
Government Steps To Protect Privacy
The 2019 Personal Data Protection Bill: In order to preserve people's privacy
with regard to their personal data, it is necessary to establish a Data
Protection Authority of India for all of these reasons and issues. Taking into
consideration the recommendations provided by the B.N. Srikrishna Committee
Information Technology Act of 2000: Offers defense against some information
systems data theft. It has mechanisms to guard against unauthorized access to
computers, computer systems, and the data kept on them.
The Right to Be Free (RTBF) should be carefully examined by Parliament and the
Supreme Court, and a way to balance the clashing privacy rights and freedom of
expression should be developed. In the digital age, data is a valuable resource
that shouldn't be regulated. India's time for a comprehensive information
protection regime has come under this situation.
Right To Privacy And Thermal Imaging
Mohammed Nisar Holia v. Directorate of Revenue and Anr
(2007), the Supreme Court
ruled that "thermal imaging," a cutting-edge technology, might worsen the
feeling of being locked out of a person's home. It has the ability to identify
drug storage by the offender. The person's rights and privacy are violated by
the internal component.
The court pre requisite that limited authority should be
provided to violate a person's right to privacy and discourages unwarranted
invasions of that right. The conviction and seizure that were in violation of
the statutory registration requirements were overturned by the court.
In a situation like this, the court can at least guarantee that the right to
private won't be unduly violated, even though the statutory power of separate
search and arrest may not do so.
Right To Privacy And Police Investigation
Several elements of the police inquiry may collide with the right to privacy.
Narco analysis, brain scans, and psychometric examinations all result in an
unwarranted invasion of a person's privacy. By declaring these tests to be
unlawful and inhumane, the Supreme Court recognized the right to privacy.
Nearly all States acknowledge the value of privacy as a matter of constitutional
significance, even though it is not always stated explicitly as a separate right
in constitutions. Although this right is guaranteed by Article 27 of the
constitution, Ugandan law makes it impossible to apply or enforce. Even before
investigations are finished, the media is eager to release the details and
images of suspects. Increased security tensions brought on by terrorist threats
made by several insurgents have made this trend worse.
Pictures of the alleged
terrorists are widely disseminated in print media as well as on social media.
The suspects automatically become public foes and are guilty before they are
convicted by competent courts of law as a result of this and the adversarial
nature of these reports.
In some nations, the common law of fraudulent misrepresentation, freedom of
speech, due process, and the right to liberty all extend to include the right to
privacy. In certain nations, the right to privacy is acknowledged as a sacred
principle. Thus, in addition to being a fundamental human right, the right to
privacy also serves as the core of all democratic societies and promotes other
Govind v/s State Of Madhya Pradesh
The Supreme Court ruled on Writ Petition No. 72 of 1970 on March 18, 1975. The
State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors responded to the appellant in the case, Govind.
The case was decided by a three-judge panel consisting of K.K. Mathew, P.K.
Goswami, and V.R. Krishna Iyer. The appellant's attorneys were A.K. Gupta and
R.A. Gupta, Advs., and the respondent's attorneys were Ram Panjwani, H.S.
Parihar, and I.N. Shroff, Advs. The case's major issues are the right to privacy
and the constitutionality of the regulations made under the 1961 Police Act.
The Madhya Pradesh Police have identified Govind as a criminal. The petitioner
was pleaded liable under section 452 of the IPC, for which a fine of Rupees. 100
was imposed, and under section 456 of the C.R.P.C., for which a fine of Rupees.
50 and one month's rigorous imprisonment in default were imposed.
Pradesh government launched Regulations 855 and 856 of the Madhya Pradesh Police
Regulations, which puts names of people suspected of carrying out criminal
activities under constant surveillance. These regulations also include visits to
those people's homes at irregular intervals to ensure they are not engaging in
such activity. On the list of members of the Madhya Pradesh Police who are being
watched under the foregoing regulation is Govind. He alleged that the police
frequently visited him, beat him up, and abused him.
- Is the legality and validity of Regulation 855 and 856 established?
- Is it possible to declare domiciliary visits unconstitutional?
- Is the right to privacy objective with restrictions or absolute, and in
which case is the regulation acceptable and reasonable?
- Does the following order issued by the Madhya Pradesh Police under
regulations 855 and 856 interfere with the petitioner (Govind's right ) to
privacy, citizens' rights under article 19(1)(d), and article 21?
The court dismissed the petition of Govind. The court concluded that Regulations
855 and 856 have necessary statutory backing as they have been constituted under
the Police Act of 1961's Section 46(2)(c). The right to privacy is not
unrestricted, according to the court. Article 21 makes some of it implicit, but
not all of it. As a result, the right to privacy of an individual may be subject
to reasonable limitations. It can be determined by comprehensive analysis of the
facts of the case and through convincing state interest trial.
Domiciliary visits made by police officers that were acceptable in character and
with the goal of protecting the public interest were not seen as infringing on
fundamental rights. Domiciliary visits and monitoring are used on people who are
suspected of committing crimes, therefore they are justified and regarded as
Kharaak Singh v/s State Of Uttar Pradesh
The Indian Supreme Court acknowledged the right to privacy in any form for the
first time in this case. In this case, the Supreme Court's majority decision
invalidated Regulation 236(b) of the U.P. Police Regulations, which allowed
police officers to visit frequent criminals at their homes every night.
In doing so, the court correctly founded that since the U.P. Police Regulations
had been issued by the executive rather than by a legislative body, they were
ineligible for restriction under Part III of the Constitution. The Court further
pointed out that the domiciliary visits violated the concept of ordered liberty
and the dignity of the individual and thus violated the right to life and
personal liberty provided by Article 21 because they amounted to an illegal
intrusion into a person's home.
However, the Court issued other surveillance provisions of Regulation 236 on the
grounds that the Constitution did not guarantee the right to privacy and that
additional police actions taken while keeping an eye on his movements could not
be considered to physically restrict the Petitioner's rights under Article 19.
A more comprehensive perspective was used in the minority ruling, which
recognized that right to privacy as a fundamental element of personal liberty
under Article 21. It also took into account the psychological effects of
continuous monitoring on the behaviors of the subject being monitored, and
declared the entire Regulation illegal.
- Whether the "surveillance" authorized under the challenged Constitution.
Part III of the Constitution's fundamental rights were breached by Chapter
20 of the Uttar Pradesh Police Regulations.
All of the provisions of Regulation 236 were examined by the Court for validity.
Regarding clause (a), which authorized stealthy picketing of suspects' homes,
and clauses (c), (d), and (e), which were intended to keep track of history-sheeters'
shadowing of suspects, the Court determined that keeping an eye on a suspect and
secretly recording their activities did not physically obstruct their ability to
move and were not covered by Article 19(1). (d). Additionally, it did not
violate the suspect's "personal liberty" as defined by Article 21.
The Court debated whether entry into a citizen's household breached Articles
19(1)(d) or 21 with reference to clause (b), which called for nightly
domiciliary visits of the history-sheeters. The Court determined that Article
19(1)(d) was not violated because it did not apply to physical movement, which
had not been hampered, but only psychological inhibition.
The Court considered the breadth, scope, and meaning of the word "personal
liberty" in its analysis of Article 21 and looked at a number of US Supreme
Court decisions in this regard. It cited Justice Field's decision in Munn v.
(1877) 94 U.S. 113 and reaffirmed his finding that the terms "life"
and "person" in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments of the U.S.
Article 21 of the Constitution "means not merely the right to the continuation
of a person's animal of existence, but a right to the possession of each of his
organs - his arms and legs, etc.
Furthermore, it specifically referred to the Fourth Amendment of the US
Constitution, which indicates that "the people shall have the protection of
their individuals, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
seizures," and noted that the Indian Constitution did not contain a provision to
that effect. The English common law adage "every man's house is his castle" was
referenced by the Court while examining the ideas relating to personal liberty.
Smt Maneka Gandhi v/s Union Of India
Maneka Gandhi was supposed to leave India in 1977 to fulfill a speaking
engagement, but on July 4 of that year, the authorities issued a notification
for passport impoundment under Section 10(3) of the Passport Act 1967, citing
reasons of public interest.
The petitioner (Maneka Gandhi) immediately sought documentation from the
Regional Passport Office regarding the reasons for such impoundment after
receiving notice, but the authorities rejected her request under the pretext
that they were acting in the public good. Without any other options, the
petitioner invoked his fundamental right under Article 32 and petitioned the
Supreme Court, claiming that the act violated Article 14 since it was arbitrary.
Following amendments to the petition incorporated the protection of life and
personal liberty, the right to freedom of speech, and the grounds for
implementing Articles 19(1)(g), 19(1)(a), and 21. The petitioner's argument
included, among many other things, that the order in question was unlawful
because it denied her the opportunity to present a defense in a fair hearing.
The petitioner was thus denied "Audi Alteram Partem," which is a core tenet of
fundamental justice (Principles of Natural Justice).
In order to decide the issue, the Supreme Court established a 7-judge
constitutional bench in 1978. M.H. Beg, (C.J. ), P.N. Bhagwati, Y.V. Chandrachud,
V.R. Krishna Iyer, N.L.Untwalia, P.S. Kai asam, and S. Murtaza Fazal Al made up
- The Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920, for example
- Does the Passport Act of 1967's Section 10(3)(c) violate Articles 14,
19, and 21?
- Do administrative or quasi-judicial orders affecting citizen rights fall
under the principles of natural justice?
- Does the freedom to travel abroad qualify as personal liberty?
- Are laws that adhere to article 21 necessary to answer article 19's
- Are there any geographical restrictions on the right under Article 19
Even though Article 21's wording is "procedure established by law" and not "due
process of law," the court amended the index of our Constitution when giving
this verdict by stating that this does not imply that the method inside might be
full of evil of arbitrariness & irrationality. It was said that the authors of
the Constitution would never have intended for such a notion to exist within the
confines of the document. The creators would never have intended for the
procedure to be totally fair and just.
A poor interpretation of Article 21 might cause difficulty because the Indian
constitution was written to safeguard the "people of India." It was noted that
Section 10(3)(c) of this Act does not violate Article 19(1)(a), 19(1)(g), or
Article 21 of the Constitution (Passport Act). The court further stated that the
aforementioned clause does not contravene Article 14 of the Constitution. The
court dismissed the petitioner's argument that the impoundment in the public
interest is not ambiguous.
A brand-new idea known as the "Post Decisional Hearing" theory was developed,
according to which an appropriate course of trial and judgement was followed by
an action that was deemed to be compatible with the action made. as opposed to
the customary process of trial and judgement prior to taking action (pre
R.Rajagopal v/s State Of Tamil Nadu
One of the most important rulings ever made on the rights to privacy and freedom
of speech is in the case of R.Rajgopal v. State of Tamil Nadu
. The ruling
in the case was that the State could not prohibit the publication of an article
clearly because it would defame the State. This kind of prevention is an
unjustifiable and illegal prior restriction.
Therefore, the State's only option would be to file a defamation lawsuit after
the piece was released. A murderer facing the death penalty, Auto Shankar,
creates a biography of his life and gives it to his wife to be published. The
book discusses any incidents that might discredit several authority. Thus, the
state considers its publishing to be defamatory and objects to it. Shankar was
given the death penalty and executed during the trial.
Hence, either from the publishers' and his wife's statements, there was no way
to verify that he had actually written the book. Additionally, there was no way
to verify whether or not the events recounted in the book had occurred. The
publication of the book was permitted by the government, ensuring freedom of
speech and expression.
B.P. Jeevan Reddy and S.C. Sen, J.J. are the two judges concerned.
- Can the government prevent a book from being published if it would
violate someone's right to privacy?
- Is it permissible to infringe on someone's right to privacy in the sake
of freedom of speech and expression?
Shankar was able to write his biography because it wasn't written with malicious
purpose and didn't contain any inaccurate information. Only insofar as no
official secrets were violated was the publishing carried out. In 2018, the
issue of the right to privacy is widely debated. But in 1995, neither case law
nor legislation did a very good job of acknowledging it. Because privacy was not
considered a fundamental right at the time, this decision recognized it. For
this principle to evolve, this was crucial.
In light of this, the Supreme Court decided that the right to privacy had become
protected by the Constitution and resolved a disagreement between that right and
According to Article 21, the right to privacy is fundamental to one's right to
personal freedom. Rights to privacy are not unqualified. They are subject to
reasonable restrictions for the defense of crimes, the welfare of the weak,
morality, or the defense of other human rights. if the two derived rights
conflict with one another. If one examines the Apex Court's later rulings, one
can see that it is preferable for the court to view fundamental rights as sealed
The simple idea that we are individuals first frequently takes a back seat to
being a part of society. Every person needs a private space for whichever
activity they choose (assuming here that it shall be legal). As a result, the
state grants everyone the freedom to enjoy those private moments. According to
Clinton Rossiter, privacy could be a unique form of reasonable independence that
can be viewed as a test of securing autonomy in at least some intimate and
spiritual matters. The most unique experience a person can have is this sense of
independence. There, people live in complete freedom. Frequently, this is a
right against the earth rather than the state..
Looking back at the Apex Court's earlier decisions from its formative years, one
can see the court's reputation for treating the Fundamental Rights as watertight
compartments in the case of A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras. However, this
strict stance was relaxed in the decision of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India,
where the right to life was viewed not as the guarantee of a merely animal
existence but rather as the epithet of a full and meaningful life.
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