Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Proposed Draft Right To Privacy Bill 2011 Of India

Right to Privacy is a very important Human Right. For long India ignored this important Civil Liberty despite demands for the same. Finally, Supreme Court of India interpreted Article 21 of the Constitution of India as a “Constitutional Source” of Right to Privacy in India.

Now Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right in India. However, exercise of a Fundamental Rights is very difficult in India without a support of a “Statutory Right” in this regard. This is the reason why we need to enact a Statutory Law on Right to Privacy in India.

Privacy Rights have become even more important in this Information Era where Privacy of Netizens is in real danger. Indian Government has launched various Projects like Aadhar, NATGRID, CCTNS, Central Monitoring System (CMS), etc that are openly violating the Civil Liberties, including Privacy Rights, of Indians. This has forced the Law Ministry to consider enacting a Privacy Law of India.

Law Ministry has proposed a Right to Privacy Bill of India 2011. Surprisingly, the draft of Right to Privacy Bill of India 2011 has still not been made public so its analysis is not possible. However, this is a good beginning and I welcome this step of Law Minister Veerappa Moily.

I am not sure whether Human Rights in Cyberspace have been considered by the proposed draft Right to Privacy Bill of India 2011. However, Law Ministry must incorporate Privacy Rights in Cyberspace in the proposed Bill to make it effective and meaningful.

Privacy is very important for having peaceful and confidential phone conversations, e-mail communications and other forms of electronic communications. Indian Government has launched various Projects that can openly indulge in Unconstitutional Phone Tapping and Illegal E-Surveillance that also without any “Judicial Scrutiny”.

In the absence of Judicial Scrutiny and Privacy Laws, Indian Citizens are left with no choice but to use “Technological Self Defence Measures” to protect their Privacy Rights, especially in Cyberspace. Even this is not acceptable to Indian Government as it is harassing service providers like Blackberry, Gmail, Skype, etc that are using Encrypted Measures to protect Privacy Rights and to ensure Security. This is just like committing a wrong and then taking advantage of the same to one’s own benefits.

I hope this time we would finally have a Privacy Law of India as in the past as well many times it has been declared that Privacy Law for India would be enacted.

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