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The Right to Privacy: A Fundamental Right in India

Author: Nimita Aksa Pradeep, Student, Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, India

ABSTRACT Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 17 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights all deal with the right to privacy. On the same lines, it can be said that the right to privacy is implicit in Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Though privacy concerns have existed in India for quite some time now, it was only in 2017 that the right was recognized as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India in the case of Justice K. S. Puttaswamy and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors. overturning the decision given by the Apex Court in the cases of Kharak Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors. and M. P. Sharma and Ors. v. Satish Chandra. The right has further gained importance in India since the introduction of the Personal Data Protection Bill in the Parliament in 2018. As privacy refers to the extent to which our personal data is shared with others; protection against confidential information being shared with third parties, unauthorized search and seizure, abuse of sensitive information, tapping of phones and emails, etc. come under the right to privacy. Due to the growing awareness of the right to privacy and the many ways in which it can be infringed, privacy laws are bound to be enacted in India sooner or later. These laws, if enacted, are likely to have both positive and negative ramifications in all spheres of life. These possible implications will be discussed in detail in this paper. The right to privacy as a fundamental right and the judicial interpretation given by the Supreme Court in this regard will also be discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Right to privacy, Fundamental rights, Judicial interpretation.

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