Recently, a case involving legitimacy of putting up CCTV cameras in Spa was under question in respect of right to privacy. This was examined by a Madurai bench of Madras High Court consisting of Justice G.R. Swaminathan in the matters between Payel Biswas v. Commissioner of Police decided on 4.1.2022.
The fact of this case are that the Government issued a notification for installation of CCTV cameras at the entry and exit points of spa or massage establishments “without prejudice to clients and employees”The Petitioner applied for obtaining a license for installing such camera which was mandatory. There was no action taken and she filed a writ petition directing the police to issue NOC to prevent the police from interfering in conducting her business.
The counsel on behalf of the Appellant contended that since it was a mandate by the notification to obtain license and set up CCTV, the police should not interfere with the conduct of her business and issue NOC in this regard
The counsel on behalf of the Respondent contended that they are duty bound to raid as a part of their routine work into places where there is suspicion of some illegal activities being committed and hence CCTV cameras inside such establishments should be set up.
The Madras High Court held that installation of CCTV equipments inside the premises of private places like Spa is a clear violation of right of bodily autonomy where “prying eyes of state cannot be allowed.”There is no requirement of transparency in such places simply upon the pretext of suspicion that immoral and illegal activities are taking place.
Judgement reviewed by Bhaswati Goldar