Intervention in the High Court of Delhi on the "Right to be Forgotten" Case

Yesterday (19.09.2016), the Internet Freedom Foundation (www.internetfreedom.in), an organization born from the SaveTheInternet.in movement for Net Neutrality, moved to join proceedings in a case related to the creation of the “Right to be Forgotten” in India. Notice was issued by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on IFF's application and arguments on the intervention will be heard after pleadings are filed.

As per public reports the case specifically titled, Laksh Vir Singh Yadav v. Union of India, involves an argument from the petitioner calling for the High Court to order the creation of a “right to be forgotten” legal regime in India, starting with request to “delist” publicly reported court judgments.

The Internet Freedom Foundation is concerned by this attempt to undermine our right to free expression and our right to information. The argument by the petitioner may create a broad, vague right to be forgotten allowing private parties to force the delisting of public information from our internet. This is especially troubling given that in would be in the absence of a comprehensive law on the Right to Privacy - a fundamental right which the Internet Freedom Foundation believes must be safeguarded for all Indians though the constitution and statute.

The Internet Freedom Foundation - as a non profit organisation established to further the rights of all Indians to a free and open Internet - is deeply concerned by the potential implications of this argument and is therefore engaging in this case before the Delhi High Court. We hope to assist the Court as it determines this case.

The next date of hearing in the case is February 2, 2017.

What is the Right to be forgotten?

On 12th May 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union, in the case of Mario Costeja Gonzalez also famously known as the Right to be Forgotten case, decided that users can request search engines to delist certain content on the web which includes information that is, "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive."

Additional reading

  • EU Right to be Forgotten judgment: read
  • EU press release on Right to be Forgotten (May 2014): read
  • Google Transparency Report on the Right to be Forgotten removals: read
  • Letter from academics requesting transparency in implementation of Right to be Forgotten in the European Union. read
  • Right to be Forgotten case in India: read

Contacts

For any queries, please contact:

  • Apar Gupta, +91-99900-00256, [email protected]
  • Nikhil Pahwa, +91-98103-10053, [email protected]

About the Internet Freedom Foundation:

The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) is an non-profit organisation that supports and advocates for a free and open Internet. We are a group of volunteers from the SaveTheInternet.in movement. We come from all over India, from different backgrounds and fields, including technology, law, policy, design, journalism. We aim to promote the rights of Internet users – freedom of speech, privacy, net neutrality and freedom to innovate.

Internet Freedom Foundation online:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: https://internetfreedom.in/
  • Twitter: @internetfreedom
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iffsti