Privacy is an issue of profound importance around the world. In nearly every nation, various statutes, constitutional rights and judicial decisions seek to protect privacy. In the constitutional law of countries around the globe, privacy is enshrined as a fundamental right. India is a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948 (Article 12) and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (Article 17) which recognize privacy as a fundamental right. Though a member and signatory of these conventions, India does not have laws which guarantee a right to privacy to its citizens.
There is no express mention of ‘privacy’ in the provisions of the Constitution of India. In M.P Sharma, the question of law was related to right to property. The court has not rejected privacy but it rejected in the context of search and seizure of documents. Kharak Singh is related to surveillance powers of the police under UP Police Regulations under Article 19(1) (d) and Article 21.Article 21 is a constitutional right against state and not between individuals. The differences lie in the standard for justifying an infringement. The court insisted upon the far higher standard of compelling State interest. The state has the power to intrude to maintain a free and democratic society. It is submitted that the Supreme Court ought not to allow state or central government’s actions on assertion a national security interest and compelling state interest. The privacy is now recognised as part of Article 21 of the Constitution the case of Justice Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Ors. v. Union of India. If there is infringement while there is surveillance, the individual may seek constitutional remedies for violation of its right.
Cite this article:
Rupinder Kaur. Surveillance and Privacy: A Ramification of Article 21. Int. J. Rev. and Res. Social Sci. 2018; 6(3):284-290. doi: 10.5958/2454-2687.2018.00029.1