Privacy is a natural right that every human being requires. It includes so many prospects such as non disclosure of confidential information, sexual affairs, business secrets and non observance of the private matters of any person by others. In simple words, we can say that privacy is a state in which a person enjoys pure isolation and separation from others.
The legal provisions on the right to privacy differ country to country. In India, the constitution has no provision to guarantee the right to privacy. In our country, there is no separate legal arrangement for resolving the issues related to the right to privacy. In fact, in a country like India, the concept of privacy is still legally unrecognizable and in primitive stage. A lot needs to be done in this regard.
The concept of privacy is found written in our old scriptures also which are called the law of The Dharam Shastraas. It has been well expounded in the commentaries of old age laws. Kautilya, one of the men of shrewd intellect ever born in Indian History, has also prescribed the procedures of privacy in greater details in his Arthshastra. But unfortunately, neither in the past law nor in the modern law, the concept has been properly defined.
But it sounds great to know that the new and modified constitutionalism completely justifies the need of laws on right to privacy. Besides, Article 12 of the universal declaration of the human rights, jurists and legal experts have advocated the need of laws on the issue of privacy saying that Right to Privacy is of paramount importance to human happiness.
The first case related to the right to privacy was brought to The Supreme Court having M.P. Sharma v/s Chandra as parties but due to the non-existence of the provisions, no considerable amount of judicious attention was given to this case and the opportunity was missed. There are so many cases that were produced in the court of law but all of them went unnoticed without any trend-setting and remarkable conclusions.
In India, the gravity of the issue can never be ignored. There are countless cases that are reported by media regarding phone tapping, website or email hacking and other kind of disallowed surveillances. In some recently exposed cases, some powerful people sitting in the government got help of private detective agencies to get the highly private particulars of some people including women. But despite all these unpleasant incidents that violated a person’s right to privacy, no clear and straightforward definition had been given or recognized by our legal machinery.