Free Press Journal

Privacy is must, walls have ears

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Privacy is a right to be let alone, the right of a person to be free from any unwarranted publicity, the right to live without any unwarranted interference by the public in matters with which the public is not necessarily concerned, as explained in Black’s Law Dictionary. Privacy is an innate human right which is necessary for maintaining the human’s state with respect and dignity. Privacy is not something that people are merely entitled to, it is an absolute pre-requisite. In modern world, privacy ensures our personal information like mails, address, phone number, bank details and medical records to be safe and secure.

“Even walls have ears” sounds true in the current state of affairs. If we don’t act now to safeguard our privacy, we could all become victims of identity theft as technology has also yielded the risk of privacy in this regard. Anything you do can be traced through the internet and could be used in a wrong sense.

The concept of privacy being made law came when it came to light that the private privileges of any individual can be mediated by the government. The right to life is undoubtedly the most fundamental of all rights which now includes the Right to Privacy and has always been in the ambit of personal liberty, which cannot be curtailed in any situation. There would have been no fundamental right worth mentioning if Article 21 had been interpreted in its original sense. “Life” in Article 21 is not merely an act of breathing or being alive, it includes a thing related to an individual’s liberty, dignity. In the recent past, there has been development in Constitutional Jurisprudence which resulted in inclusion of Right to Privacy into Article 21 as a fundamental right. Around the globe most of the governments have tried to preserve their citizen’s convictions, feelings, sensations and considerations. A person has the privilege to figure out what sort of data has been taken about them and the intention behind such act. This aids in shielding people from misuse.


In Kharak Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh, Supreme Court said that the Right to Privacy is a part of Right to Protection of Life and Personal Liberty. The court here equated privacy to personal liberty. Applicable to protection, once consolidate as a fundamental right, right to privacy is sufficiently wide to infringe into any circle of action. The conferment of such a right or privilege has turned out to be a great degree of trouble with the headway of innovation and the social networking websites. Yet the other side of the coin is that the right to protection of a man incorporates the right to detach individual data.

In Govind vs State of Madhya Pradesh, Mathew J. acknowledged the Right to Privacy as a spread from Article 19(a), (d) and 21, yet Right to Privacy is not absolute right. Assuming that the fundamental rights, explicitly guaranteed to a citizen, have penumbral zones and that the Right to Privacy is itself a fundamental right. The fundamental right must be subject to restriction on the basis of compelling public interest. Observation by domiciliary visits require not generally be a nonsensical infringement on the privacy of a person attributable to the character and forerunners of the individual subjected to reconnaissance as likewise the articles and the impediment under which the observation is made. The concept of Right to Privacy deals with the persons, not the places.

In Smt Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India & Anr (1978), SC’s 7-Judge Bench said, ‘personal liberty’ in Article 21 covers an assortment of rights and some have status of major rights and given additional protection under Article 19. Triple test for any law meddling with personal liberty: (1) it must endorse a method; (2) the method must withstand the test of one or more of the fundamental rights conferred under Article 19 which may be applicable in a given circumstance; and (3) it must withstand test of Article 14. The law and method approving impedance with personal liberty and Right to Privacy should likewise be correct, just and reasonable and not self-assertive, whimsical and abusive.

In Naz Foundation Case vs Govt of NCT of Delhi (2009), Delhi HC gave the landmark decision on consensual homosexuality. In this case, the Court examined the applicability of Section 377 of IPC and Articles 14, 19 and 21. The Right to privacy held to protect a “private space in which man may become and remain himself”. It was said that people require a position of sanctuary where they can be free from societal control – where people can drop the mask, cease for some time from anticipating on the world the picture they need to be acknowledged as themselves, a picture that may mirror the estimations of their associates as opposed to the substances of their inclination.

It is currently an established situation that Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 includes Right to privacy. Right to Privacy is also ‘privilege to be not to mention’. A native has a privilege to defend the security of his own, his family, marriage, multiplication, parenthood, kid bearing and instructions among different issues. Any individual distributing anything concerning the above issues aside from with the assent of the individual would be subject in real life for harms. Position be that as it may, be extraordinary, if a man deliberately pushes himself into discussion or willfully welcomes or raises a doubt.

The Supreme Court 9-Judge Constitutional Bench in the case of Justice KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs Union Of India has overruled its own 8-Judge Bench & 6-Judge Bench judgements of MP Sharma Case (1954) and Kharak Singh (1961) both of which said that the Right to Privacy is not protected under the Indian Constitution. It is a milestone that the Supreme Court of India has unanimously proclaimed Right to Privacy to be an inseparable part of Article 21 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has completely held that the Right to Privacy is ensured as a characteristic piece of the Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and as a piece of the flexibilities ensured by Part III of the Constitution. The judgment represents a quantum jump in the development of legitimate statute relating to privacy in India.

Customarily, Indian culture has its underlying foundations in the joint family framework. Therefore, sharing of data has been an essential piece of Indian culture. It is appropriate to take note of that as on date, India does not have a devoted law on protection.

Making Right to Privacy a fundamental right has supported the law with moral facts. This in a way has narrowed down the gap between what the law is and what the law ought to be. In many matters related to an individual’s life, each one ought to be free to make his or her decision without the Government telling them what can be done and what cannot be. In the absence of privacy, individuals would become vulnerable to the control of others and would lose freedom which may lead to diffidence, irresoluteness and would more likely to be on the verge of getting manipulated.

In words of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “All human beings have three lives; public, private and secret.” Privacy laws are in existence because people have a Right to Privacy and in no way it can be infringed, as it is now a fundamental right.