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Right to be Forgotten: Delhi High Court seeks Google’s response on de-indexing of publications

The High Court of Delhi has granted two weeks time to search engine Google, to file an affidavit on a petition filed by a doctor, seeking de-indexing of publications.

The Single-Judge bench of Justice Pratibha Singh passed the order on a petition filed by a Doctor, seeking removal of news articles related to a criminal case registered against him in 1999.

The High Court directed Google to state in the affidavit whether de-indexation of publications could be done, so that when the name of the petitioner was searched, the URLs related to his criminal case did not show up. This would ensure that the Right of Privacy of the person was not violated, noted the Bench.

Listing the matter for further hearing on May 18, along with a bunch of similar petitions related to the right to be forgotten, the Single-Judge Bench directed the Central government and other respondents to file their response to the petition.

The right to be forgotten (RTBF) is the right to have private information about a person removed from Internet searches and other directories, if the person wishes to. Several countries, such as Argentina, Europe and the Philippines, have put the concept into practice.

The concept has taken shape from the views of such individuals, who want their lives to progress in such an autonomous way that the consequence of a specific action performed in the past does not stigmatise them, either perpetually or periodically.

The Right to Privacy, which is a Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, includes the Right to be Forgotten. Most courts in the country consider The Right to be Forgotten or the right to be left alone as a right which emerged from the Right to Privacy. 

Essentially, it means that a person has the right to get their personal information removed from public resources, if they wish so.

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