In an important judgment, the Karnataka High Court has held that an investigating officer has no right to disclose the personal data seized from an accused’s smartphone or electronic gadgets, without the written permission of the court concerned.
The High Court held that an investigating officer who leaks such personal data to a third party should proceed for disregard of duty or trespass.
The Court held that such data recovered during the course of investigation would not be used for violation of the right to privacy, as it is covered under the exceptions given in KS Puttaswamy’s judgment.
However, in any case, no such details or data can be provided by the Investigating Officer to any third party without the written permission of the court which seized the case.
“The responsibility of securing the information or data which may apply to the privacy of the person shall always be that of the investigating officer, if it is found to have been presented to a third party, to the investigating officer for further insult Shall be enhanced.”, held by a single bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj.
Justice Suraj Govindaraj was hearing a petition filed by Virender Khanna, an accused in the infamous Chandan drug case, who challenged the order passed by the special NDPS court, ordering 14-09-2020, by which the petitioner was charged with his mobile He was instructed to cooperate to unlock the phone. Police as illegal and misusing the process of law.