“There is something called the right to privacy:” SC dismisses petition seeking directions to digitally monitor MPs and MLAs

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Today, the Supreme Court (SC) bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Manoj Misra, and Justice JB Pardiwala dismissed a petition seeking directions to the Centre to digitally monitor MPs (Members of Parliament) and MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) for better governance. In the context of this, the bench said, “There is something called the right to privacy”. It added, “This is done only for a convicted felon who can flee justice…If you argue, then we will impose costs of Rs. 5 lakhs which will be recovered as land revenue. This is public time and this is not about our ego.” While dismissing the petition, the SC said, “The plea seeks MPs should be digitally monitored and all policy should be decided by majority votes, etc…this cannot be entertained…We place the petitioner on notice of the fact that this Court will impose costs if he pursues the cases. However, we desist from imposing costs with a caution that no such plea should be filed in the future.”

The counsel appearing for the petitioner argued, “All these MPs after getting elected under the Representation of People Act state behaving like rulers. They are public servants.” The CJI expressed disapproval towards the argument and said, “You cannot make this charge against all the MPs. How will individual citizens make laws in democracy? All laws are passed by Parliament after elected MPs participate. As individual citizens, we cannot arrogate the law. Then people will say we don’t need judges…we will decide on the streets and kill for theft. Do we want that to happen?” After hearing the contentions, the Supreme Court rejected the petition.