Emergence of Right to Privacy in India

Barkha Shekhar
Amity University (School of Law), Kolkata, India.
Kaushal Jaisalmeria
The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

“Gradually the scope of legal rights broadened; and now the right to life has come to mean the right to enjoy life – the right to be let alone.”

– Louis Brandeis, J. (1890)

India has fought a long war with recognizing the rights of privacy. From antithetical case judgments to a reconciled analysis of the emergent need of this right, there have been many noteworthy changes that should be studied and appreciated, in order to undermine the present scenario of privacy rights in India. Spanning over a course of 67 years, until finally pronouncing the Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right, this is a journey that has undergone myriad reforms, interpretations, reviews and has finally been shaped as a law, which protects the private life of individuals from unnecessary intrusion. This right is restricted not just to celebrities or to noteworthy persons of fame, but also to the common man whose personal details like his financial statements and health issues should not be information that others can access. Privacy is the right to be left alone. If a person has the right to be recognized through means of reservation and special laws, they also deserve to withhold information that concerns their life and of those close to them. This paper traces the journey of privacy rights from various junctures in time which have led us to one of our latest Fundamental Rights. It also includes an analysis on how there are still some battles left to fight in order to ensure a strengthened and upgraded structure that protects and the solitude of each individual while being at par with other developed nations..