Right to Privacy

Right to Privacy has been in the news as one of the WhatsApp user knocked the Supreme Court’s door claiming that one of the most popular messaging apps WhatsApp has been infringing his privacy by using the private details such as photos, contact number to share with the Facebook profile after the change in the privacy policy of the company in 2016.

What exactly is Right to privacy?

Our Constitution which came into effect from 26 Jan 1950 has been written by our political visionaries by taking the best of features from the constitutions of different countries around the world. Our forefathers took every pain to ensure that our Constitution which would prove to be the guiding book for the new nation and would be comprehensive in every sense. It was written in keeping in mind its compatibility to that era and to the eras to come. With this vision in mind, our constitution became the lengthiest constitution in the world comprising of anything and everything which might be necessary for easy administration of the country. It contains the Preamble which is the introduction of the Constitution itself, the Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles to the state, Parliament, State Legislatures among other topics which they felt was utterly necessary to be mentioned in detail to be used as a reference to the future generation.

One of the most important feature of our Constitution is the Fundamental Rights which have been accorded to each and every person whether a citizen or a foreigner. The idea of the Fundamental Rights have been inspired by the Constitution of the United States of America. The various fundamental rights provided to us are:-

  • Right to Equality
  • Right to Freedom
  • Right against Exploitation
  • Right to freedom of religion
  • Cultural and Educational Right
  • Right to constitutional Remedy

The framers felt that it would be useless to provide these rights without providing a facility to obtain them if they have been violated. Hence all these fundamental rights have been made justiciable in nature. In the sense if there are any party or organization, public or private which try to take it away or to abridge it, the grieved party can approach any of the high courts or Supreme Court for the same. Supreme Court which has been hailed as the Guardian of our fundamental rights by the Constitution would protect the interest of the person.

Right to privacy which comes under Right to freedom, is one of the important fundamental rights as it is an integral part of our personal liberty. Even though right to privacy has been articulated through various different judgments of the Supreme Court it has not got a solid shape in the form of a Fundamental Right. The Supreme Court through its various judgments felt helpless in providing protection and asked the Government of India and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for their opinions. In response to the suggestion asked by the Apex Body, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the 5 judge Constitution bench that the government is committed to ensuring freedom of choice and right to privacy of all the individuals and a regulatory regime in the form of statutory rule or an order is underway.

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