India is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, which
was adopted in 1948, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which was adopted in 1966. These two main international instruments laid
the basis for the world's major democracy and constitutions.
In comparison to
the right to freedom of speech and expression, all of these instruments place
the right to privacy in a separate and higher role. The right to freedom of the
press is enshrined in the right to freedom of speech and expression. These two
privileges are polar opposites of the same coin. As a result, unless the right
to privacy is given equal weight in Indian law to the right to freedom of speech
and expression, democracy will be seriously hampered, and violations of
citizens' rights will increase. This gave me the idea of thinking about the
intrusion of media in the personal space of some known personalities.
By birth mankind acquires a special kind of natural right i.e. speech. By speech
a person expresses one’s self. Freedom of speech and expression is the
fundamental right to imparted in the Article 19(1) of the constitution of India.
Privacy means a personal space where a person is secluded from the public eye.
Life without privacy is impossible. According to Spencer, “it is a continuous
accommodation of maintain internal relations to external relation.
A person maintains his inner and outer behavior according to the demands of the
society. It is a sense of behaving in a way which would be socially acceptable.
Privacy is basically an absolute right but its limitation imposing, restricting
one to invade in other’s personal space. Every one of us has surrendered an
extensive piece of our protection to take part in the so called democratic governance.
In this contract oriented society it is a concept of reciprocity. Every
pre-requisite has a price tag on it which in most of the cases is privacy. For
example- we provide our family and bank details to the government or any private
company to get our ration or credit card issued. This data can thus harvest
benefits for the organization whenever given to offices who offer it to showcase
arranged organizations for promoting their items. A data which is accordingly
given in trust presently gets public.
This is just one case in which for an
aggregate right of the general public to get advantage, security, an individual
right is forfeited. Privacy is indeed a difficult concept, where people become
ironic when it comes its performance. Because a person believes in privacy but
he also fits CCTV Cameras in the office, allow credit card details to show in
the bank to open an account, and even allows a camera man to enter homes. All in
all, public interest is given more importance than individual interest.
public authority should secure the protection rights however they comprise the
biggest office gathering tremendous measures of information of its residents for
the issuance of social advantages, and this information someway discovers its
approach to reevaluating organizations, and the entirety matter comes in the
public space. When police enters our homes at night, it hampers the individual
rights, but they do this on the pretext of public rights.
For a democratic country like India, the media should be sensible, responsible,
informative and mature enough to build up a society. The main motive of our
governance is to invite a varied opinion. However, this didn't occur in light of
the fact that as the media turned out to be incredible being the lone archive of
data to the public, different interests crawled into its texture.
These interests went under the appearance of rivalry, commercialization,
legislative issues and force campaigning of the public authority. The
consequence of all these are weakening of morals, ethical quality furthermore,
even lack of respect for singular protection and opportunity. The freedom of
media if not have restrictions then the public right will be hampered
vigorously. Press is an integral part of any democratic set up.
Shall media be
given an unrestricted opportunity to engender their interest? Now a days, it has
become breaking news creation and not a news coverage. This includes intrusion
into security and makes serious harm their standing and societal position. This
raises the need of securing the protection of people. Thus this study covers ,
how far Indian laws are effective, when freedom of media and rights of privacy
comes in a conflict?
- To understand the nature and scope of freedom of media
- To understand how courts take on the cases of violating privacy
- To examine the rights and freedom of media invading in personal space of known
The research that will be conducted is strictly theological and non-empirical.
The focus is on analyzing statutory provisions and Supreme Judicial cases, as
well as court reasoning. The study's main goal is to look at the evolution of
privacy jurisprudence in India, as well as the role of the Parliament and the
judiciary in recognizing the right to privacy as a basic right in different
The research will also examine India's existing stance on data
privacy and the challenges it faces as a result of a lack of adequate privacy
law. The study also focuses on addresses some contemporary concerns impacting
privacy rights and how to strike a balance in such situations.
History of Media and Right to Privacy
Under the editorship of James Augustus Hickey, the Bengal gazette the
first newspaper of India was disseminated in 1980. On May 30, 1826 Udant Martand
(The increasing Sun), the primary Hindi-language newspaper in print in India,
began out from Calcutta (now Kolkata), published each Tuesday via way of means
of Pt. Jugal Kishore Shukla.
The Bombay Herald, the Statesmen in Calcutta and
the Madras Mail and The Hindu, together with many different opponents in Madras
stood for the representations made with the aid of using people of India. While
Statesman became into print and media of English rulers, The Hindu have become
the guiding mild of people’s patriotism in the South a part of India. In
counteract to the Madras Mail, the Hindu became founded in Madras.
became the tool for freedom struggle with patriotism becoming directly
proportional to colonial insensitivity. At that point of time journalist acted
as nationalists and professionals. Urban revitalization of information
propagated in Calcutta, Madras, Bombay and Delhi. Regional language newspapers
have become popular in 1970’s, specially after Indira Gandhi lost elections in
1977. There were voices of nationalist that echoed from different linguistics
nearby provinces like Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil, Kerala, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh
posted dailies in nearby languages. As communalism and non secular intolerance
improved earlier than and after partition, Urdu have become often the language
of human beings in Pakistan.
Right to Information is a significant step taken by the government of India. The
greater part of the data assembled is unclear and unfeasible which is neither
relevant nor makes any use of the authority to depend on. Media can utilize the
information which they acquire through this aforementioned act and can impact
individuals with their privileges and liabilities. After this presence the
straightforwardness between the Government hardware and individuals have
expanded to manifolds.
The method of getting the data through the demonstration
is made simpler by composing an application alongside a ten rupees postal
request and the progressive system is at risk for any sort of deferral in giving
data and Central Vigilance Commission exclusively administers that why the data
looked for isn't given on schedule. In United States and Canada, the privilege
to data law has been utilized generally by the media.
The World Summit at the Information Society (WSIS, 2005)
held conference one in Geneva in year 2003 and 2nd one in Tunis in year 2005
with schedule of Information Technology issues. Nothing a
lot become executed on privacy worries on this summit
and become absolutely overlooked and counted number of
securing countrywide interests.
The first time when the right to privacy has come up was in the year 1954 4 in
MP Sharma vs Satish Chandra Case, District Magistrate Delhi, where it was
alleged that the company had made fraudulent transactions to embezzle funds and
deceit and conceal the shareholders of the company, Union government instructed
for investigation under the Companies Act. And after the investigation, the
offences were found true.
In the year 1964 in Kharak Singh versus State of UP, the Supreme Court had the
matter to consider the extent of this right when the power of close watch on
habitual criminals by the requirements of the U.P. Police rules came to be
challenged as violating of Articles 19(1) (d) and Article 21 of the
Privacy and its evolution
Improvement in the later years in which instances, Govind vs State of M.P and R.
Rajagopal vs State of T.N case
, privacy has been precise as proper to be left
unaccompanied and held that each inhabitant has a right to guard the privacy of
which they own or are associated with which include their akin’s, wedding,
recreation, parenthood, child-bearing and coaching etc.
No it is easy to convey
out something thing referring to the above noted instances without his approval
whether without delay or in any other case and whether commending. If anyone
invading someone’s private space would be punished. Position may, however, be
now no longer the same, if any one wishfully propels himself into argument or of
own accord creates a distinction and this rule has been laid subjected to
This issue again took a pace in the year 2011 in UID Aadhar Scheme Case where
Division Bench of 3 judges of the Court, while examined UID Aadhar card scheme
of government that obtaining and retaining the demographic and personal data
which incorporates retina scanning and finger prints of the residents of India.
And this case was then passed to a 9 judges bench where it held that in its
decision had held that right to Privacy is an immutable innate element of
Article 21 of Constitution of India. And we have to amend them according to the
growing technological advancements.
Laws and Judgments on Privacy and Media
Public opinion and Role of Media
It is almost impossible to live in a democratic culture without having the
freedom of thought, voice, and expression as a civil right. The public opinion
has a deciding role in Indian organizations when it comes to making laws and
making pronouncements that affect the whole society's organization. In a
democracy, public opinion and public sentiment is considered as important factor
in its working. Due to media its fulfillment and accessibility have turn out to
be one of the foremost additives of public view.
Therefore it turns into a
political hero in a democracy due to the fact the achievement of democratic
structure requires a knowledgeable and collaborating public. The
contemporary-day politics is, skilled with the aid of using maximum people by
the print and broadcast media in their option. The function of media has come to
be imperative to politics and public existence in current democracy.
political scientists lack consensus on the problem and that they dispute whether
or not the media are triumphing or not and whether or not their effect on
politics is wonderful or bad for democracy, as a result the media are believed
to play an essential function in imparting residents with a complete and
truthful account of the information and huge variety of political opinion on it.
At the start of the nineteenth century, politically aware Indians had been
attracted to modern civil rights, specially the liberty of the Press.
Privacy Bill 2011
Everyone shall have a right to privacy and will be secured together along with
his email‘s, name details, messages and different modes of communication.
Privacy accrues to many things, it includes letters, talks with anyone,
vocational excursions and most significantly pics snapped at occasions and
secrecy of own circle of relatives life, marriage, wife, children, protection
from search, detention or exposure of lawful correspondence between and amongst
Financial function of any individual is also a crucial factor in the
society, nobody desires to expose their economic situation to any one which
incorporates their financial institution passbooks, account balances etc. This
bill additionally safeguards from identification theft, which incorporates
imitating or developing a forged proof and posing as if every other individual
has devoted a criminal offense and maximum of not unusual place kind of duping
people round is acquiring or the usage of others identity to achieve credit,
items and services.
The bill places a ban on unsolicited surveillance of communications besides from
primary consent with an officer in charge or police and it will be in interest
of state. It makes obligatory demolition of surveillance of the facts in months
of discontinuance of interception. The bill makes provisions for charter of a
Central Communication Interception Review Committee to check out and determine
the surveillance policies and regulations drafted and is empowered to render
locating that such interception overlooked Section 5 of the Indian Telegraphs
Act and that the intercepted bits and portions ought to be destroyed
It additionally forbids observations both with the aid of using
following a anyone or closed circuit tv or different digital or with the aid of
using some other mode, besides insure instances as in step with the specified
process. Anyone who has a workplace in India however has information the use of
gear located in India shall bring together or processor use or launch any
information regarding character to any individual without permission of such
The bill held the accomplishment of Data protection authority of
India. The Authority can take a look at information protection violate and
issue guidelines to guard the protection pursuits of affected people in the
individual information that has or is probable to had been compromise with the
aid of using such breach. The bill makes contravention of the provisions on
interception an offence sporting a punishment of with custody for a time period
that may also complete as much as 5 years or with fine, which may also enlarge
to Rs. 1 lakh or with both for every one such interception.
Media vs Privacy
Because of the media, the right to privacy has been a sensitive topic for some
time. Anxiety and depression are connected. The right to privacy is not
protected by legislation. It is judged appropriate given the circumstances.
Articles 19 and 21 are two of the most important articles of the Constitution.
It began to be concerned about comparable rights to information in 2013. The
right to privacy has been affirmed, particularly in the instance of the Nira
Supreme Court Judgment on Privacy
In a recent judgment, the SC of India said that the right to privacy is a
fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
The following points from the Supreme Court judgment will make it
- First and foremost, privacy arises from Article 21 of the Indian
Constitution, which stems from the right to life and individual liberty.
Elements of privacy arise in a variety of circumstances, ranging from
dignity to the fundamental rights protected in Part III of the Constitution
- The Supreme Court decision acknowledged the existence of a fundamental
right to privacy, but it did not amend the Constitution or address
- According to the Supreme Court's judgment, privacy protects a person's
self-esteem and dignity. Privacy protects the principles that underpin the
rights to life, liberty, and freedom; it also protects people's rights and
well-being, which are integral to liberty's foundation.
- Individuals' personal lives, the sanctity of family life, marriage,
home, sex life, and emotion sharing are all protected by privacy.
Independence protects and preserves an individual's existence by recognizing
a person's ability to govern critical or significant aspects of his or her
- The right to privacy, like other fundamental rights included in Part
III, such as the right to life and personal freedom under Article 21, is not
entirely a stated right.
Government on Social Media
The judiciary is concerned about protecting and maintaining user data. Recent
that even the government wants privacy to be protected, and that messages,
photographs, and videos exchanged on such apps should not be exposed. Because
offensive or secular posts might impact the masses, the government has created
guidelines that require them to be removed within minutes of publication.
from the pleasant effects and simplicity of usage for the general populace, it
may also be lethal when employed in conflicts and riots. Because Whatsapp is the
firm with the greatest database of users, estimated to be 200 million, everyone
uses it to stay connected all over the world, with the exception of select
countries, such as Dubai, where whatsapp calling and video calling are not
Whatsapp denied following the government's norms and regulations,
resulting in a controversy. Numerous incidences of data being released through
such programes have resulted in girls and boys committing suicide, according to
crime reporting. Some tough measures will be implemented to keep a close check
on such incidents and the causes of such crimes.
The government also instructed
every cyber cell workers, each stationed at district headquarters, to monitor
any such remarks or discussions. The government is developing a strategy that
will keep a close eye on social media to see if it is being used to plot against
India and generate anti-national sentiment.
Government on Privacy Laws
Government on searching on the wishes to formulate a few regulations for
offering comfort to those who are liable to assaults or are concerned
approximately their records thefts or unsolicited surveillance, a committee
turned into devised which constituted people having knowledge from Ministry of
Electronics and IT to put together a draft for records safety regulation and
discover the demanding situations for records safety in our Country and the
committee turned into headed via way of means of Justice B N Sri krishna, former
decide of Supreme Court of India.
Celebrity Privacy Rights
The concept of individuality underpins the right to privacy. Celebrities try to
keep their personal lives hidden from the public eye. Article 21 of the Indian
constitution recognizes the right to privacy as a fundamental right. The right
in question isn't stated in the Constitution at all. The four separate freedoms
protected by the right to privacy rubric are:
- The right to keep sensitive information from being made official
- The freedom to intrude into a person's solitude and to avoid prying into
a person's personal affairs.
- Stay away from fake light publicity, and
- Prevent the misappropriation of a person's identity and image.
The court held in R. RajaGopal vs. State of Tamil Nadu
that no one should
publish anything about families, marriage, procreation, motherhood,
childbearing, or schooling without the consent of the person. If he does, he
will be infringing on the individual's right to privacy, and will be responsible
for damages in a civil suit. This is the first time a court has found that an
individual's right to privacy would be violated if his name or image is used
without his consent for advertising or non-advertising purposes, or for some
The Hon'ble Supreme Court ruled in the seminal case of Justice K. S. Puttaswamy
(Retd.) v. Union of India
in 2017 that:
“The right to privacy is one of the liberties guaranteed under Part III of the
Constitution and is covered under Article 21 as an integral aspect of the right
to life and personal liberty.”
People of high status, dignitaries, people in positions of influence,
celebrities, and others are often the target of careless claims, most of which
are made secretly, and which have the potential to ruin their lives and
eliminate their needless presence in cases. Media criticism of public figures
does not escalate to the extent of intimidation of public figures and their
In a climate of fierce rivalry among media outlets, news often transforms into
factual misrepresentation and sensationalism. Commercial interests often promote
invasive newsgathering techniques, which often infringe on the rights of others
who are the target of certain media. There is an urgent need to keep a balance
between freedom of media and the privacy right.
The problem that needs to be
addressed is not only the form or specifics of India's potential privacy laws,
but also the need to put in place a privacy law regulation regime that can
address emerging privacy concerns in the light of new technical forms of
communication within a realistic time frame. We want a life of decent living
without the interference of the public domain. So this area needs a high
attention of the law makers.
- The Right To Privacy in India by Gaurav Goyal
- Constitutional Questions and Citizens Rights by A.G. Noorani
List of abbreviations
- American model of Communication Association 442
- newspaper history in India is inextricably tangled with political
history," wrote A. E. Charlton (Wolseley 3)
- Universal declaration of human rights
- observations of Historian Bipan Chandra, Chandra & Others, 1987pp.102
- Pareesh Virmani,Vallabha Gulati,Prachi Bhati:”Aadhar Act: A
Jurisprudential conundrum that entails
invasiveness and breaches of privacy”:Asia Pacific Law & Policy Review Volume
- Surabhi Agarwal; Justice BN Srikrishna to head committee for data protection
framework; The Economic Times
- T Vidya Kumari, Celebrity Rights as a Form of Merchandise- Protection under
the Intellectual Property Regime, 9 JIPR 120, 122 (2004)
- Kishwar Jahan and Ors. vs. State of West Bengal and Ors., 2008 (3) CHN 857.
Table of cases:
- CCTV- closed- circuit television
- SC- Supreme Court
- RTI- Right to Information
- UID- Unique Identification Number
- AIR- All India Reporter
- SCC- Supreme Court Cases
- MP Sharma And others vs Satish Chandra 1954 AIR 300,1954 SCR 1077
- Kharak Singh vs State of U.P. and others 1963 AIR 1295,1964 SCR (1) 332
- Govind vs State of MP AND Anr
- R. Rajagopal vs State of T.N. 1995 AIR 264
- Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India in 2017 (2017) 10 SCC 1