Right To Privacy After Death? SC To Examine As It Stays Madras HC Order On Jayalalithaa Thumb Impression

“It intruded into the fundamental right to privacy. Her (Jayalalithaa’s)  death does not make any difference as right to privacy is available to every citizen during his/her life time and even after the death of that person”, the plea said.

A Madras High Court order directing Bengaluru jail authorities and UIDAI to furnish records containing the thumb impression of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was stayed by the Supreme Court today.

The HC had sought Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression on November 24 while dealing with an election petition filed by P Saravanan, a DMK candidate for the November 2016 Thirupparankundram Assembly by poll, challenging the election of AIADMK's A K Bose.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also issued notice to the petitioner before the high court and asked him to file a reply within eight weeks.

Bose moved SC against HC direction claiming “It intruded into the fundamental right to privacy. Her death does not make any difference as right to privacy is available to every citizen during his/her life time and even after the death of that person”, the plea said.

The personal details of a third party which will undoubtedly include the finger print could not be divulged by the authorities holding the same without consent of the person to whom it belongs, the petition said .

WHY THUMB IMPRESSION SOUGHT

During the pendency of petition before the high court, Saravanan had filed an additional affidavit, questioning the validity of the election documents.

He had alleged that thumb impression of Jayalalithaa was obtained without her consent and knowledge while she was unconscious, with the connivance of the doctors and others who were attending to the former chief minister.