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  India   All India  09 Jul 2024  Cops can’t ask accused to share Google location: Supreme Court

Cops can’t ask accused to share Google location: Supreme Court

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 9, 2024, 12:28 am IST
Updated : Jul 9, 2024, 12:28 am IST

The apex court took note of the condition and stated that prima facie it violated the right to privacy of the accused released on bail

Supreme Court. (AP)
 Supreme Court. (AP)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that police cannot require an accused to share their Google location to track movements as a condition for bail, as it would violate privacy rights.

A bench of Justices Abhay S. Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan set aside a bail condition imposed by the Delhi High Court that required a Nigerian national to share the Google Maps pin from his mobile device with the investigating officer in a drugs case.

Justice Oka stated, “There cannot be a bail condition defeating the very objective of bail itself. We have said Google pin cannot be a bail condition.

There can't be a bail condition enabling the police to constantly track the movement of the accused. Police cannot be allowed to peep into the private life of the accused on bail.” The court pronounced the verdict on a plea by Frank Vitus, a Nigerian challenging the bail condition in a drugs case.

On April 29, the apex court had reserved its verdict, indicating it would examine whether the condition imposed by the Delhi High Court, asking an accused to "drop a Google pin" from his mobile phone to enable investigators to track his movements while on bail, violated the fundamental right to privacy.

In a landmark decision, a nine-judge Constitution bench had on August 24, 2017, unanimously declared that the right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution.

The apex court took note of the condition and stated that prima facie it violated the right to privacy of the accused released on bail. Similar bail conditions requiring the sharing of Google pins have been imposed by the high court on other accused in different cases as well. The top court has taken note of such bail conditions for other accused too.

On February 8 of this year, the Delhi High Court granted bail to one Raman Bhuraria, who was arrested in connection with a money laundering probe arising from an alleged Rs 3,269 crore financial irregularity case against Shakti Bhog Foods Ltd.

The High Court had imposed several bail conditions, one of which stated that "the applicant shall drop a Google pin location from his mobile phone to the IO concerned, which shall be kept operational throughout his bail."

Tags: supreme court of india, privacy risks, google location, bail condition
Location: India, Delhi