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Right to Privacy in India: Notes from Day 2

Day 2 of the hearing to determine whether there is a fundamental right to privacy under the Indian Constitution is underway.

Notes from the hearing:

4:00 pm: Menakshi Arora begins her submission.

That’s it for today. Submissions on behalf of the petitioners has concluded. The next hearing will be on Tuesday, July 25.

2:00 pm: Hearing resumes, with Poovaya continuing.

The bench wants to if privacy is affected if the State collects and stores data, or does the breach of privacy kick in only when the data is used. To which Poovaya says that in the digital age that distinction is very thin (source).

At this stage there is a long discussion on disparate topics such as darkweb, proxy servers, Russia, blockchain, and even bitcoin before the bench says that maybe these aren’t relevant to the case at hand (source)!

Poovaya concludes.

12:00 pm: State action to prevent human rights abuses, which is required by ICCPR, also has privacy implications (source).

The bench asks if right to identity is part of privacy (source).

Grover concludes. Sanjan Poovaya, who is representing Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar, takes over.

Lunch break.

10:30 am: Arvind Datar resumed his submissions from yesterday on behalf of the petitioners by recapitulating yesterday’s arguments (read notes from Day 1). Then began discussions on the contours of the right to privacy.

At this point Anand Grover took over from Arvind Datar. He highlighted that because India follows English common law we do not really have right to privacy under that (Source: 1, 2, 3). Hence, he pointed out that, the right to privacy must given a flexible interpretation so that it can adapt depending on the case brought in front of the court (Source: 1, 2, 3).

More updates to follow.

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