The Orissa High Court has observed that there is a parliamentary need for the ‘right to be forgotten’ as if the circulation of videos/photos of rape victims are allowed on social media then it will result in the violation of their Right to Privacy. In the current scenario, there is no such law in India that can provide the right to be forgotten or removing the photos from the server of the various Social Media platforms forever.
Justice SK Panigrahi said while he rejected a bail application filed by the rap accused that uploaded the video on Facebook. The court observed that if there will be no such law, then any accused can easily outrage the modesty of the woman and will misuse it in cyberspace without any fear of law.
There is an increase of this insensitive behavior on social media, the judge stated.
The Court noted that the accused uploaded the video on Facebook through a profile he created in the name of the victim and he deleted it after the police interrogated him.
The Court said: “The information circulated in public is just like toothpaste, if it is out of the tube then no one can put it back, same if anything gets circulated among the public it will never fade away. The Indian Criminal Justice system needs strong penal action against the accused who commit such heinous crime as there is no law recognized which can provide rape victims a right to be forgotten, to have their photos/videos be removed from the social media platforms. Also, the threat of getting assaulted or harassed frightens the citizens and their online presence has a serious danger. The Parliament needs to recognize such a rule so that the rape victims cannot be deprived of the Right to have privacy.”
In many cases like this, the women are victims and they have a right to get the right to be forgotten enforced. If the video or image captured with the consent of a woman cannot justify the misuse unless and until the relationship between the accused and victims get strained as it happened in the present case. There is a need for a law such as the right to be forgotten so that no accused can commit such an insensitive crime on social media. Such an act will protect the woman against any type of exploitation or blackmailing.
The Court stated that Section 27 of the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 has the Right to be forgotten. According to Section 27, an individual holds the right to avoid continuous disclosure of personal data by any data fiduciary.
The court further observed-
“In the present case, the petitioner had not only committed forced sexual intercourse with the victim but had also recorded the intimate video and circulated on a fake Facebook account. Considering the facts of the case, the court observes that petitioner deserves no bail.”
The Bail Application got dismissed.