Publication Of Court Order No Violation Of Right To Privacy: Indian Kanoon Opposes Plea In Kerala HC To Remove Personal Details From Reported Judgment

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • According to Indian Kanoon, if at a particular juncture of time, if case records become public, they don't come under the ambit of 'Right to Privacy' and are at the disposal of all.
  • Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujib Seftravardi, (1981) 1 SCC 722 and Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu, (1994) 6 SCC 632 serve as climacteric precedents referred to, in this case.
  • The website has urged that there has to be a balance between the right to Privacy and the right to freedom of expression in context of judicial orders.

DETAILED ANALYSIS

In a counter-affidavit submitted before the Kerala High Court in retaliation to a written petition demanding the dismissal of the name, the Indian Kanoon legal web browser claimed that it is the legal system, which permits the publication of all court related matters under the banner of 'Public Records', with the inclusion of court records and court orders and affidavits.

Consequently, the principle of open justice includes the openness of judicial proceedings and legal proceedings and the release of the adjudicating authority's order of Courts, so that the general public is notified of the legislation of the state.

Rajagopal v. State of Tamil Nadu, (1994) 6 SCC 632; Kerala High Court, referring to a significant ruling, claimed that the 'Right to Privacy' (Article 21 of the Constitution of India) does not encompass in full detail the records released to the public.

In the same dispute, referring to yet another specific instance, Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujib Seftravardi, the Constitutional Quad of the Supreme Court held that constitutional rights can be expanded to firms only if, in accordance with Article 12 of the Constitution, they are deemed to be agents of the System, that is to say, if they are in fact operated or controlled by the Government, and if the State is expansive and geographically responsible for their deeds and statements.

The appellant was mainly affronted by the claim that, considering his immunity from court prosecutions, the portal proceeded to release a bail order relating to certain deliberations without revealing his identity, which was also the first result of a search on the internet, prompting him to suffer distress and anxiety. Affirming, that an individual holds the 'Right to be Forgotten', the complainant requested approval from the agencies to delete his personally identifiable information.

In its response in the form of an affidavit, Indian Kanoon, represented by Sushant Sinha, the Director, stated and stood by their claims that the writ petition has a straightforward role to play in the applicability and the establishment of the guiding principles of Right to Freedom of Expression and Right to Access Information, as under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution.

Furthermore, it is firmly documented that court orders cannot be prohibited from being released by external parties unless such an authorization is expressly provided by a tribunal with the intention that continued release would intervene with the interests of justice.

It has also argued, in this sense, that the claimant attempts to rely on the Court's unprecedented authority to override the rigorous legislative process under way to ensure constitutional acknowledgment of the right to be forgotten.It is averted, inter alia, that the written request is not sustainable because the domain is a private corporation organized under the Companies Act, 2013 and not a 'State' within the scope of Article 12 of the Constitution.

CONCLUSION

The ambit of Article 21 and the clashing notions which have been mentioned in the constitution lead us to question the downright implication of basic principles, especially in such a scenario, wherein a person demands to utilize his right to be forgotten, which is countered by the need to obtain the right to access information. It trickles down to the needs of an individual, pu up against the needs of the society at large. 

 

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SHIVEK J. Online
on 11 January 2021
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