SC dismisses plea on US snooping

Published: 28th June 2013 08:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2013 08:54 AM   |  A+A-

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking a directive from the court to the Centre to initiate action against internet companies involved in sharing internet data from India with the US National Security Agency.

A Bench comprising Justice A K Patnaik and Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the petitioner S N Singh, former dean of Law Faculty, Delhi University, whether any of his fundamental rights had been violated. It asked him to give a convincing reason as to how Article 21 was violated as claimed by him with relevant judgments.

The Bench expressed the inability of the Bench to “direct the Parliament to make a law to safeguard privacy of citizens against snooping”. He asked him to move the HC under Article 226.

Dismissing the petition, Justice Patnaik said, “A Constitution Bench of this court had held that the fundamental rights, particularly, Article 21 is available against the government, but not against private individuals. The petitioner may have right to privacy against foreign companies but this right is not covered under Article 21 of the Constitution. It is not the case of the petitioner that the State is violating the fundamental rights. He may move any other forum for enforcement of his rights.”

Singh, in his plea, alleged that such largescale spying by the US authorities was detrimental to the national security. He also alleged that internet companies were sharing information with the foreign authority in “breach” of contract and violation of right to privacy.

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