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Right To Privacy Includes Right To Be Left Alone: Delhi HC Grants Protection To Bengali Actor

Bengali Actor Video leak case
Bengali Actor Video leak case: The Delhi High Court directed online platforms such as YouTube and others to remove objectionable videos and audio clips of a female Bengali actor.

The order said that the actor is entitled to protection from invasion of her privacy by strangers after non-consensual publishing or transmission of her videos. Such invasions are having an immediate impact on the actor’s reputation, the court said.

The judgement came on a suit filed by the Bengali actor who had sought restraint on publication and streaming of her objectionable videos on various websites, online platforms and mobile applications. The actor had argued that the videos portray her in manner that invades her privacy. The court said that the actor is entitled to “be left alone” and “be forgotten”.

Justice Asha Menon ruled that the actor is entitled to protection from invasion of her privacy.

Bengali Actor Video leak case:

According to the actor’s legal representative, she had been approached by a production house for a web-series. The production house reportedly promised her a lead role in the series. Her lawyer alleged that the actor was then made to do explicit scenes for the trailer of the web-series.

After the project fell through, the producer uploaded the actor’s video on Youtube. When the actor came across the video in December 2020, she asked the producer to remove the clip, her counsel said.

However, even after the clip was removed from the producer’s Youtube channel, many websites uploaded the same without the actor’s consent. The lawyers told court that some of them also made obscene comments about the said clips.

After this the actor started to receive calls from strangers who insulted her for the video. The actor’s counsel argued in court that the videos have tarnished her reputation. The Delhi High Court considered that the ruling held by Orissa and Madras High Court which states that there is not statutory right to be forgotten.

Justice Menon then cited the High Court bench’s judgement in another case which said that the right to be forgotten and the right to be left alone are ‘inherent aspects’ of right to privacy.

When one of the defendants in the case argued that the said video was shot with the consent of the actor, the court rejected it. Even though the video shooting was consented by the actor, she did not give permission to the websites to upload it, the court ruled.

“..if others were circulating the same for obvious monetary and other prurient benefits, the plaintiff cannot be denied any relief during the pendency of the suit,” the court said.

The court has given the defendants time till September 22 to remove the video from their platforms and to stop uploading them. The court has also allowed the actor to furnish the order to other platforms who are found publishing or streaming her videos.