Panel for privacy law to protect public persons

Neither of the recommendations are new and have been the subject of a public debate for a while

Written by Amitabh Sinha | New Delhi | Published:September 11, 2012 3:39 am

A task force under the National Security Council Secretariat has recommended that the government should consider enacting a law to ensure the media is not allowed to intrude into the private lives of people holding public positions,adding a fresh dimension to the privacy debate.

The task force headed by the Deputy National Security Advisor also feels TV news channels should be brought under the purview of the Press Council of India by amending the law.

Neither of the recommendations are new and have been the subject of a public debate for a while. However,the issues involved have got a new twist as the recommendations have come from the country’s top security establishment this time. An official source said these recommendations had not been accepted by the government yet.

“The government is studying them. Remarks and observations will be made by the ministries concerned,” the source said.

Activists and organisations protesting against the intrusion of privacy of ordinary citizens have argued that the same principles do not apply for people holding public positions as long as revealing the private lives of such people is in ‘public interest’.

In another recommendation,the task force has asked the government to consider further amending the Press Council Act to give the council powers to approach the high court in case a media house refuses to comply with its directives.

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