Secretly Filming the GF Is Not Infringement of Privacy, But Making It Public Is!

Hindustan Times: Delhi court sentences man to three years in jail for secretly filming girlfriend.

Comment © 2014 Ankur Mutreja: This case highlights the need for a well-deliberated comprehensive privacy law in India. The boy has been found non-guilty of rape but guilty of many other crimes under the IPC on the facts that he secretely filmed his private moments with his GF, who accused him of rape and infringement of privacy. Since infringement of privacy per se is not a crime, the boy has been found guilty under other sections of the IPC and the IT Act, which I think are irrelevant as far as the privacy infringement is concerned and have been added to somehow punish the boy. So, now coming to the question of privacy infringement. This is a dicey area. A boy or a girl can just write an article describing his or her private moments with the partner in vivid details; that’s also publication of private information; should that also be punishable? Fortunately, the answer is YES. But, what about this question: Should a boy or a girl be punished for recording the private moments in his or her mind, and then making them public in a court of law as relevant evidence! That’s precisely what has happened in this case; though the recording was electronic, but, with super technology, it is also possible to remotely record live brain memory on a computer elsewhere. In another of my blog, I have published some self-drafted privacy principles, and, therein, I have also taken a very strict view wrt recording of private information of sexual acts but only when the recording is by third parties; there is no way to stop recording of information by the persons engaged in sexual act themelves because, for the duration of the sexual act, the sexual information becomes the private information of the couple or the group, as the case may be. Of course, if it is a rape, then there is no consent to share the information, thus there is no private group information. I think the judgement is wrong: Once it is proved that the boy didn’t make the information public and the allegations of rape were false, there is no crime in keeping the record of the private sexual information of the couple entering into a sexual act. Consent to enter into a sexual act also raises the presumption of sharing all contextually relevant private information with the partner. However, if the partner makes the information public, then it is defintely a crime. Moral of the story: Chose your partners carefully!

About the Author

Ankur Mutreja
Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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