"Privacy the core of human dignity": Kerala High Court orders removal of woman's images from online media

The Court was considering a plea filed by a woman seeking directions to remove her personal details published on online media channels in connection with an immoral trafficking case in which she was arrayed as a victim.
Kerala HC
Kerala HC

Privacy is the Constitutional core of human dignity, observed the Kerala High Court recently while ordering the removal of images uploaded on online media platforms of a woman arraigned by the police as a victim in an immoral trafficking case [XXX v State of Kerala & Ors.].

The Court emphasised that privacy is paramount for every individual as there cannot be dignity without privacy.

"Privacy is the ultimate expression of the sanctity of the individual. There cannot be dignity to an individual without privacy. It is a constitutional value founded on fundamental rights. Privacy with its attended values assures dignity to the individual. Dignity is the core which unites fundamental rights. Privacy is the constitutional core of human dignity", the order stated.

Justice K Babu made the observation while considering a plea filed by a woman who claimed that her name, images, identity, and other details were uploaded and published on online media platforms, including YouTube, in connection with a case registered under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA).

The woman (petitioner), along with other women, had been arraigned as victims in the ITPA case by the police.

The petitioner claimed that after the case was registered, she was illegally exposed to the media and connected to the said case.

She submitted that despite being arraigned as a victim, her images were circulated by many online media channels and YouTube channels, portraying her as a person who led an immoral life. Due to this, she faced a lot of cyber-attacks and humiliation, the Court was told.

The Court also noted the petitioner's submission that such social media exposure affected her professional practice and her right to privacy.

While so, she said that there was no action to take down such online content despite her complaints to the concerned authorities.

Therefore, she approached the High Court seeking directions for the removal of such content.

In response, the High Court directed the State Police Chief to take steps to remove the images of the petitioner from online media platforms.

The matter will be heard again on June 27.

The petitioner was represented by advocate PT Sheejish.

[Read Order]

[XXX v State of Kerala & Ors.].pdf
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