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Right To Privacy As A Fundamental Right And Their Related Conflicts

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.

On 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.

The 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 orders.

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 protection.

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 (2018).

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.

Way Forward
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 human rights.

Case Analysis:

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.

The Madhya 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.

  1. Is the legality and validity of Regulation 855 and 856 established?
  2. Is it possible to declare domiciliary visits unconstitutional?
  3. Is the right to privacy objective with restrictions or absolute, and in which case is the regulation acceptable and reasonable?
  4. 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 reasonable.

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. Illinois (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 bench.

  1. The Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920, for example
  2. Does the Passport Act of 1967's Section 10(3)(c) violate Articles 14, 19, and 21?
  3. Do administrative or quasi-judicial orders affecting citizen rights fall under the principles of natural justice?
  4. Does the freedom to travel abroad qualify as personal liberty?
  5. Are laws that adhere to article 21 necessary to answer article 19's challenge?
  6. Are there any geographical restrictions on the right under Article 19 (1) (a)?

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 decisional theory).

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.

  1. Can the government prevent a book from being published if it would violate someone's right to privacy?
  2. 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 press freedom.

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 containers.

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[49]. 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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