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People’s Union For Civil Liberties vs Union of India

Case Commentary: People’s Union For Civil Liberties vs Union of India

Background story of the case.

Phone tapping is a penetrate of one of a person’s most prized resources, in particular security. Because of the quick headway of incredibly modern innovation, the option to have a continuous call in the protection of one’s home or business is ready for misuse.

The resident’s on the whole correct to protection should be defended against government abuse. Subsequently, this writ appeal was documented under Article 32 of the Constitution, charging the State’s maltreatment of control over an individual and how police specialists more than once disregard the Constitution’s essential rights.

Facts of the case

The “People’s Union for Civil Liberties documented a request with the Supreme Court, referring to late occasions of phone tapping. The candidate battled that Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 was illegal.

On the other hand, it is contended that the previously mentioned statements ought to be fittingly deciphered down to incorporate procedural assurances that reject discretion and preclude aimless phone tapping. The writ suit was submitted in light of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s report on “Tapping of legislators’ telephones” (CBI).”

Issues discussed

Is call interference “an infringement of Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 of the Constitution?

Furthermore, is this impediment covered by Article 19(2) of the Constitution?

Is Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, both considerably and procedurally protected?”

Petitioner’s Arguments

The Petitioner resolutely contended that the right to security is an essential right ensured by India’s Constitution under Article 19(1) and Article 21. As indicated by the Petitioner, to stay away from Section 5(2) of the Act being governed illegal, the proviso should be deciphered down to give adequate protections to one side to security.

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Earlier court endorse – ex parte – is the solitary insurance fit for eliminating the component of mediation or absurdity. Furthermore, it was contended that the meaningful law as well as the procedural law should be simply, reasonable, and sensible.

Respondent’s Argument

The Respondent showed toward the starting that correspondences might be captured in light of a legitimate concern for India’s security and power, just as to manage some other crisis including the conservation of public interest.

Therefore, the focal issue is whether there are sufficient procedural assurances set up to avoid the Act’s discretionary utilization of power. It was contended that in spite of the fact that “Section 5(2) of the Act” unmistakably characterizes the conditions/circumstances that should exist all together for the position to be utilized, the technique where the force is to be practiced isn’t indicated.

In this way, procedural shields—without past legal examination—should be added something extra to “Section 5(2) of the Act” to shield it from the wrongdoing of discretion.

Judgment given by the Court

It is basic to analyse whether the data considered needed for procurement may have been sensibly acquired through different techniques while deciding the need of such a request.

As per Section 5(2) of the Act, just the “Home Secretary, the Government of India, and the State Governments” have the position to make a request approving phone tapping. The request should force the individual to whom it is coordinated to catch correspondences indicated in the request during their transmission through a public broadcast communications framework.

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Moreover, the request may urge the individual to whom it is coordinated to uncover caught data to the people and in the manner determined in the request. Except if re-established preceding the lapse of the two-month term if its continuation is considered fundamental, the request gave under Section 5(2) of the Act will terminate toward the finish of the two-month time frame from the date of issuance.

The interference needed by Section 5(2) of the Act will be of correspondences shipped off or from at least one tends to indicated in the request, being a location or addresses prone to be utilized for the transmission of interchanges to or from, from one specific individual or set of premises determined or portrayed in the request.

The whole span of the request’s activity should not surpass a half year. The caught material should be utilized distinctly to the degree needed to consent to Section 5(2) of the Act, and so on.


The Court deciphered the word ‘life’ “as characterized in Article 21 of the Constitution, referring to Munn v. Illinois, in which Justice Field said that life incorporates not just the option to proceed with a creature presence, yet in addition the option to have every one of an individual’s organs—his appendages and legs, for instance.

Alluding to another fundamental case on the idea of security and individual freedom as ensured by the Constitution, the Court noticed that the assurance of one’s private against subjective police mediation is a vital segment of a free society. It is innate in ‘requested freedom’ and subsequently significant against states under the Due Process Clause.

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The thump on the entryway, regardless of whether day or night, as a preface to a hunt led without the authority of law yet exclusively on the authority of the police, didn’t need the critique of ongoing history to be censured as contrary with the basic liberties origination revered in the set of experiences” and fundamental established reports of English-talking people groups.


Phone tapping is an encroachment on every resident’s essential right to security and along these lines an infringement of the Constitution. Moreover, the Court said unequivocally that the right to security is a segment of the naturally ensured rights to “life” and “individual freedom.”

Article 21 applies in all conditions including the right to protection, and this right can’t be restricted “except if as per the techniques given by law.” The right to security is resolute from the right to life and individual freedom, which incorporates the right to live in nobility.


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