Briefly discuss the right to privacy in India.

The Constitution of India does not grant in relief and express any terms ‘right to privacy’ as such. Right to privacy is not enumerated as a Fundamental Right in the Constitution. However, such a right has been culled by the Supreme Court from Article 21 and several other provision of the Constitution read with the Directive Principles of State Policy. In R. Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu

the Apex Court has asserted that in recent times the right to privacy has acquired constitutional status; it is “implicit in the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed to the citizens” by Article 21. It is a “right to be let alone.” A citizen has a right “to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child bearing and education among other matters”.

Is any publication concerning the privacy illegal?

In R. Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu the Supreme Court has laid down certain propositions defining the right to privacy. The Court held that any publication concerning the privacy aspects would become unobjectionable if, such publication was based upon public records including Court records. This is for the reason that once a matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy no longer subsists and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by press and media among others.

Advertisement