Mr. Shailesh Gandhi on Privacy

[Ed Note : The following is a guest post by Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, Former Central Information Commissioner under the framework of the RTI Act 2005, who has graciously agreed to express his views through this platform]

First Define ‘Privacy’

The problem with the nine-judge ruling is that after proclaiming privacy as a fundamental right, it has not defined what is privacy. It is now left to all adjudicators to give multiple interpretations in order to understand the term, writes Shailesh Gandhi.

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The Data Protection Act

[Ed Note : The following is a guest post by Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, Former Central Information Commissioner under the framework of the RTI Act 2005, who has graciously agreed to express his views through this platform]

If any proof was required that the RTI Act is seriously threatening the arbitrary and corrupt actions of those who are powerful, the proposed Data Protection Bill provides it. The Supreme Court of India in various decisions before the advent of the RTI Act acknowledged that the Right to Information and Right to publish are fundamental rights of citizens under Article 19 (1) (a) of the constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and expression. Any constriction of this right can be based only on what the constitution permits. Article 19 (2) permits reasonable restrictions on the exercise of this right only “in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.”

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