The constitution of India has provided us with the right to privacy under Article 19 as of August 24, 2017, and the statutory provisions contained in Sec. 8 (j) of the RTI Act, 2005, have been enacted by the legislatures in recognition of the constitutional protection of privacy. Under article 12 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is also recognized as a basic human right, which states as follows: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence, nor to attack upon his honour and reputation.”

The right to privacy was derived from the “protection of life and personal liberty “enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The discussion on case laws is essential for a better understanding of this extremely significant right in the present scenario.

  • K.S. Puttaswamy vs. Union of India, 2017

In this case, a retired high court judge, K.S. Puttaswamy, filed a petition in 2012 challenging the constitutionality of Aadhar because it violates the right to privacy. A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgement on August 24, 2017, upholding the fundamental right to privacy under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 21 of the Constitution reads as follows: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” It is stated in the judgement that privacy is to be an integral component of Part III of the Indian Constitution, which lays down the fundamental rights of the citizens. The Supreme Court also stated that the state must carefully balance individual privacy and the legitimate goal at all costs because fundamental rights cannot be granted or revoked by law, and all laws and acts must comply with the constitution. The Court also declared that the right to privacy is not an absolute right and that any invasion of privacy by a state or non-state actor must satisfy the “triple test,” i.e., a legitimate aim, proportionality, and legality.


In many international treaties, privacy is enshrined as a fundamental human right, and one of the pillars of a democratic country is the protection of human dignity. It supports the rights of the individual and others. Privacy is a right that all human beings enjoy by virtue of their existence; privacy is not only about the body but extends to integrity, personal autonomy, data, speech, consent, objections, movements, thoughts, and reputation. All modern societies recognize that privacy is essential and recognize it not only for humanitarian reasons but also from a legal point of view. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the “right to be let alone” is “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.” In order to widen the scope of Article 21, the Supreme Court has decided to interpret it along with the Universal Declaration


The right to privacy may also collide with numerous parts of the police inquiry. Narco-analysis, brain mapping exams, and polygraph testing infringe on a person’s right to privacy. The Supreme Court has recognized the right to privacy by ruling that these tests are unlawful and harsh.


With the advent of social networking sites and technology, establishing the right to privacy as a basic right becomes exceedingly challenging. On the other hand, a person’s right to privacy includes the right to keep personal information private.

As seen by the development in social networking sites and blog locations, anyone can now be a journalist. The right to privacy frequently clashes with the right to the press. Article 19 (1) provides for the freedom of the Press (a). A person’s freedom to express themselves may collide with another person’s right to privacy. Thus, the concepts of public morality and interest are used to make decisions in such situations.


BY- Arini Thakur, Intern, B.A.LL.B 22’

Achintya Dubey, Intern, B.COM. LLB 22’


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