The Delhi High Court bench, in regards to certain explicit video and audio clips of a Bengali actor, noted that right to privacy includes the right to be forgotten and the right to be left alone as inherent aspects. Upholding her right to privacy, the bench said her right to privacy is to be protected, especially when it is her person that is being exhibited and that too against her will.
The actor, in a lawsuit, told the court that the videos were being portrayed in a manner that infringes her privacy. The court was informed that she had been approached by a production house for filming a web-series and had appeared in a demonstration video “comprising explicit scenes of complete frontal nudity”. Despite the project not making through and the web series never being produced, the court was told that in December 2020, the actor came across the videos on YouTube channel and website of the producer. It has to be noted that upon request the producer removed the videos but a number of websites had already uploaded them on their channels without her consent. This resulted in constant anonymous calls and insults, resulting in loss of reputation of the actor.
Justice Asha Menon, in an interim order passed on Monday, said in view of the fact that the plaintiff is entitled “to be left alone” and “to be forgotten”, she is entitled to protection from invasion of her privacy by strangers and anonymous callers on account of such publication, streaming, transmission of the suit videos by the defendants. Justice Menon said explicit videos that are being circulated have a clear and immediate impact on the reputation of the person seen in the videos in a state of nudity, and that she has not permitted even the producer of the videos to publish them.
The court said that even if it was true that the actor may have participated in the filming of scenes voluntarily and for consideration, she has clearly stated that she has not licensed any of the websites and search engines to publish the same on YouTube. “Now, if others were circulating the same for obvious monetary and other prurient benefits, the plaintiff cannot be denied any relief during the pendency of the suit.”