In a recent development, a man from Kerala, S Sakeer Hussain, who was acquitted in a cheating case, has approached the High Court seeking the removal of references to him as an ‘accused’ on various internet platforms. According to the petitioner, such references are violating his right to privacy and damaging his reputation, which is protected under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Kerala High Court Takes Notice
The Kerala High Court has taken notice of the petitioner’s plea and has sought responses from both central and state governments. Additionally, the court has requested a response from the popular search engine, Google, and major English newspapers.
Upholding the Right to Reputation
The petitioner’s plea highlights the significance of a person’s reputation and argues that it is an integral part of their identity and dignity as a citizen. The damage to one’s reputation can have far-reaching consequences, impacting personal and professional life. The petitioner emphasizes that if someone is acquitted of all charges, their name should be expunged from all records, particularly those in the public domain.
The Impact on Personal Life
The petitioner also mentions that this issue has had a profound impact on his personal life, specifically mentioning that it affected his daughter’s marriage. The continued portrayal of him as an accused, despite being acquitted, has created significant hardships for him and his family.
Seeking Redaction and Protection
The petitioner urges the High Court to direct the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the state government to redact his name from the public domain. Additionally, he seeks protection for his right to reputation, which is fundamental to an individual’s well-being and social standing.
The plea was filed in the Kerala High Court through advocates Sandeep R.N., B. Muhammed Shaheel, and Keerthi Vijayan, who are representing the petitioner.
This case raises important questions about an individual’s right to privacy and reputation in the digital age. The court’s decision and subsequent actions by the authorities and internet platforms will play a significant role in determining the extent to which acquitted individuals can protect their reputations from being tarnished by outdated online references.
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