All about “Right to Privacy” in India

Right to Privacy:

Right to privacy is one such right which has come to its existence after widening up the dimensions of Article 21. The constitution in specific doesn’t grant any right to privacy as such. However, such a right has been culled by the Supreme Court from Art. 21 and several other provisions of the constitution read with the Directive Principles of State Policy.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”.

After reading the Article 21, it has been interpreted that the term ‘life’ includes all those aspects of life which go to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living.

The Court has implied the right of privacy from Art.21 by interpreting it in conformity with Art.12 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Art.17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966. Both of these international documents provide for the right of privacy.

The first time this topic was ever raised was in the case of Kharak Singh v. State of UP where the Supreme Court held that Regulation 236 of UP Police regulation was unconstitutional as it clashed with Article 21 of the Constitution. It was held by the Court that the right to privacy is a part of right to protection of life and personal liberty. Here, the Court had equated privacy to personal liberty.

The Privacy Bill, 2011

The bill says, “every individual shall have a right to his privacy — confidentiality of communication made to, or, by him — including his personal correspondence, telephone conversations, telegraph messages, postal, electronic mail and other modes of communication; confidentiality of his private or his family life; protection of his honour and good name; protection from search, detention or exposure of lawful communication between and among individuals; privacy from surveillance; confidentiality of his banking and financial transactions, medical and legal information and protection of data relating to individual.” ( If you want it in detail, comment below)

Current  Scenario (19 July, 2017) : 

The Supreme Court has referred a case to nine-judge constitution bench to determine, if the “Right to privacy” is a fundamental right.

The question pertains to pleas that challenge Aadhaar for violating privacy.

“During the course of hearing, today it has become essential for us to determine whether right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution,” said a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar.

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