Privacy invasion: Delhi HC comes to the rescue of actor

The Delhi High Court has observed that ‘right to privacy’ includes the right to be forgotten and the right to be left alone while directing various online platforms, including YouTube, to take down certain objectionable video clips of a Bengali actor.

Justice Asha Menon was of the opinion that “the right to privacy of the plaintiff (woman) is to be protected, especially when it is her person that is being exhibited, and against her will”.

The woman, who claimed to be a well-known actor in Bengali films, said she was approached by Ram Gopal Verma Studios for filming a web series. She said on the promise made to her of giving her the lead role in the web series, she was lured into participating in a demonstration video/trailer, comprising explicit scenes of complete frontal nudity. However, the project fell through and the web series was never produced.

In December 2020, the woman came across the videos, which had been uploaded by the producer on his YouTube channel and website. On her request, the producer later removed them. However, without her consent, several other websites uploaded those videos.

‘Anonymous callers’

“Some of them also superimposed objectionable and obscene commentaries on the videos. As a consequence of such action, the plaintiff was constantly subjected to anonymous callers and also subjected to insults,” the plea said.

Justice Menon rejected the argument made by some of the websites that the videos had been shot with the consent of the woman and hence she would not be entitled to any relief.

“The plaintiff (woman) may have participated in the filming of the scenes in question voluntarily and for consideration, she has clearly stated that she has not licensed any of the URLs/websites and the search engines to publish and transmit the same on YouTube,” the judge said.

“The plaintiff in this case has not permitted even the producer of the videos to publish them on his YouTube channel and website and the producer has respected her decision and protected her sentiments by taking down the videos,” the judge said.

“In the present case, it is explicit videos that are being circulated, having a clear and immediate impact on the reputation of the person seen in the videos in a state of nudity,” the court said while directing removal of the videos, footage, clip audio from the Internet till further order.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 5:42:57 AM |

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