The Delhi high court on Thursday sought the Centre and Google’s response on a plea by a reality show winner Ashutosh Kaushik, who claimed he had a right to be forgotten and sought removal of some of the videos, photos and articles related to his drunk driving in 2009 from various online platforms .
Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to the ministry of information and broadcasting, Google LLC, Press Council of India and Electronic Media Monitoring Centre to respond to the petitioner’s invocation of the rights to privacy and to be forgotten within four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing in December.
Kaushik, who won MTV Hero Honda Roadies 5.0 in 2007 and the second season of Big Boss in 2008, has sought that the Central government is directed to take urgent steps to safeguard his reputation and dignity by ordering removal of his videos, photos and other related articles from various online platforms which are being facilitated by Google as the same is engendering a detrimental effect on his life and personal liberty.
In 2009, Kaushik was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol and not wearing a helmet.
Advocate Amit George, representing Kaushik, submitted that whenever his name is searched on Internet, photos relating to his past life are shown on various search engines including Google and urged the court to order removal of all such posts, videos and photos.
Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, representing Google, said the right to be forgotten was not yet a law in the country.
The plea said the right to be forgotten enables a person to silence the past events of his life that are no longer occurring.
“Right to be forgotten is in sync with the right to privacy, which was hailed by the Supreme court as an integral part of Article 21 (Right to life) of the Constitution,” the plea said.
The petition said Kaushik’s valuable contribution in the television and big screen industry has earned him accolades, love and appreciation of people across India.
“However, despite attaining outstanding success in entertainment industry, the petitioner had to suffer utmost psychological pain for his diminutive acts, which were erroneously committed a decade ago as the recorded videos, photos, articles of the same are available on various search engines/ online platforms,” the plea read.