Monday, April 25, 2011

Draft Right To Privacy Bill 2011 Of India

The right to privacy bill 2011 of India may be the first attempt to regulate privacy related issues. However, as per media reports it seems to be more like a data protection initiative rather than a privacy safeguarding law.

India has created a problem for itself by neglecting the privacy protection requirements for long. India has been launching projects without any legal framework and procedural safeguards. For instance, we have projects like central monitoring system (CMS), national intelligence grid (Natgrid), Aadhar, crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS), etc that are not governed by any legal framework and procedural safeguards. Even we do not have any lawful interception law in India that can be claimed to be constitutionally sound.

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi base law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India, India is the only country of the World where Phone Tapping and Interceptions are done without a Court Warrant and by Executive Branch of the Constitution of India. Phone Tapping in India is “Unconstitutional” and the Parliament of India has not thought it fit to enact a “Constitutionally Sound Law” for Phone Tappings and Lawful Interceptions. Even the Supreme Court’s directions in PUCL case have proved futile and presently the Court is dealing with the issue once more, informs Dalal.

What is more surprising is the fact that the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies that indulge in unconstitutional e-surveillance and phone tapping are themselves governed by no law. It is no surprise that the central bureau of India (CBI) is also not governed by any law and it is operating in India without any law. It is only now that the central bureau of investigation act 2010 was drafted. Till now it is a mere draft and has not become an enforceable law. Even the constitutional validity of the national investigation agency act 2008 is doubtful. Even the draft Intelligence Services (Powers and Regulations) Bill, 2011 has been recently circulated in the Parliament of India.

If the proposed privacy bill sees the light of the day, a data protection authority of India may be constituted. This authority must be constituted through an Indian regulatory services examination so that it can perform the challenging tasks that it would be entrusted with. For the time being, let us wait for the final draft of privacy bill available for public discussion.