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Right To Privacy Includes Right To Be Forgotten, Personal Data Protection Bill Contains Provision For It: Centre Tells Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
16 Dec 2021 3:50 AM GMT
Right To Privacy Includes Right To Be Forgotten, Personal Data Protection Bill Contains Provision For It: Centre Tells Delhi High Court
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The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that the fundamental right of Right to Privacy also includes the Right to be Forgotten and that the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 contains provisions related to the doctrine. The development came after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology filed a short affidavit in a plea filed by two businessmen acquitted in a forgery...

The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that the fundamental right of Right to Privacy also includes the Right to be Forgotten and that the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 contains provisions related to the doctrine.

The development came after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology filed a short affidavit in a plea filed by two businessmen acquitted in a forgery case, invoking their right to be forgotten and seeking removal of the concerned judgment and news articles from internet.

"…the intemational legal concept of "right to be forgotten" is evolving in India. That the "right to privacy is a fundamental right" and it also includes the "right to be forgotten." The Government of India understanding the need to protect its citizens and their privacy has brought out the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019. This Bill contains provisions related to the doctrine of "right to be forgotten," the affidavit reads.

It has further been submitted that Indian courts have also accepted the doctrine of right to be forgotten as an essential part of "right to privacy" by referring to the judgments delivered by Orissa High Court and Karnataka High Court.

Furthermore, the Centre has also submitted that the Information Technology Act 2000 provides for blocking of the information for public access through any computer resource and also for removal of certain unlawful information from an intermediary platform.

"It is for the platforms to consider the requests of the petitioner and remove such judgments or orders. The answering respondent no. 1 is neither plays a significant role nor its presence is required in the matter," the affidavit adds.

In view of the above, the Centre has sought for it's removal from the array of parties.

The petitioners were aggrieved by the continued availability of online articles regarding their past arrest and trial despite their having been acquitted from the charges. 

Filed by businessmen Jaideep Mirchandani and Siraj Amani through Advocates Aman Vaccher and Ashutosh Dubey, the plea stated that the availability of the said articles on online platforms/websites and access from various search engines is adversely impacting their employment, career prospects, as well as their personal and social life.

The plea further averred that the presence of the said judgment and news items on internet gives an impression that they were involved with "tabooed Smuggling/ Illegal activities."

It was also stated that the petitioners were not involved in India or abroad in any illegal activities, however due to the presence of articles and orders available on the websites, their clients and the Government agencies with whom they have business or professional dealings avoid them under the perception that they have a criminal background.

Case Title: JAIDEEP MIRCHANDANI & ANR. v. UNION OF INDIA MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION AND IT & ORS.

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