SC refuses to entertain PIL searching for pointers to manage personal detectives

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 4 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre to put in place guidelines to regulate the working of private detectives until a law was enacted.

“You please withdraw it or we will dismiss it,” a Bench led by Justice Rohinton F Nariman told senior advocate Vibha Datta Makhija, representing the petitioner, who said snooping by private agencies was unregulated.

“You only tell us as to how we can issue a writ of mandamus to a private body. Can we issue a writ to such persons?” the Bench wondered.

“This is infringement of my (petitioner) private life,” she said, adding directions can be issued to the Ministry of Home Affairs as there was no law to regulate this particular field.

Later, Makhija chose to withdraw the PIL that also wanted the government to set up a mechanism to prevent transmission of unlawfully procured personal details of Indian citizens to foreign countries.

The petitioner alleged that two private detectives who are directors of a Delhi-based company had illegally recorded and filmed her personal details without authorisation from any authority and forwarded them to a person based in the US. The US national was using those “fraudulently procured details” in a court of law there, it was alleged.

The petitioner had also sought a direction to the private company not to share or transfer in public domain the illegally procured details of petitioner and also to restrain it from testifying its veracity in the Circuit court of Fairfax County, Virginia in a case filed there by a woman against her divorced husband.

It wanted MHA to initiate legal action against the private firm for trespassing in the personal and intimate domain of the petitioner by impersonating its true identity and motive.

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