Court Cases Are Public Records

In India, court judgments are considered public records and are generally available for anyone to view, unless the court explicitly prohibits it or there is a law restricting it. This means that anyone can read the decisions of the Supreme Court or any other court, as these decisions are considered the law of the land. In fact, courts now publish their judgments and orders online, so anyone can search for and access information about ongoing cases directly from the courts’ websites.

Overall, the Indian legal system values transparency and openness in its judicial proceedings. By making court judgments and orders publicly available, citizens can gain a better understanding of the law and the judicial process, and have access to important legal information that can impact their lives.

Who gave permission to The Kolkata Lawyers to publish court cases?

As previously stated, court cases are public records and do not require authorization for publication. According to Section 52(1)(q)(iv) of the Copyright Act, sharing court judgments does not breach copyright.

But my privacy is violated by publication of court judgment

In the case of R. Rajagopal vs State Of T.N on 7 October, 1994, the Supreme Court defined the scope of the Right to Privacy and declared that the publication of court records would not be considered a violation of the right to privacy. The Supreme Court held:

The rule aforesaid is subject to the exception, that any publication concerning the aforesaid aspects becomes unobjectionable if such publication is based upon public records including court records. This is for the reason that once a matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy no longer subsists and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by press and media among others. We are, however, of the opinion that in the interests of decency [Article 19(2) an exception must be carved out to this rule, viz., a female who is the victim of a sexual assault, kidnap, abduction or a like offence should not further be subjected to the indignity of her name and the incident being publicised in press/media”

But the recent Supreme Court judgment on Puttaswamy vs Union of India (2017) gives me right to privacy?

The case of Puttaswamy vs Union of India (2017) affirmed the right to privacy as a fundamental aspect of the right to life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. It also recognized the possibility of a “right to be forgotten,” but emphasized that any legislation on data protection must carefully balance this right with other legitimate state interests, such as freedom of information. The court explicitly referred to and supported the decision in R. Rajagopal vs State of T.N (1994) regarding the publication of court records as public records. Therefore, until the Supreme Court overrules it, R. Rajagopal remains the binding law.


Can you remove or modify my court case?

We will not alter or delete any public documents unless ordered to do so by a competent court. It should be noted that there are multiple copies of these court judgments in circulation, and Indian Kanoon only holds one of them.

In certain circumstances, we will redact the name, address, and any other identifying information of a victim in court judgments related to cases registered under Section 376 IPC, Section 376A-D, Section 354 IPC, or the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. If you encounter such a case on The Kolkata Lawyers, you may contact us and provide the link or URL.

In accordance with Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, we will remove any disclosure of a juvenile’s identity in conflict with the law, as long as it is not explicitly prohibited by a Juvenile Board or a specially formed Committee.