Karmanya Singh Sareen v Union of India
Petitioner: Karmanya Singh Sareen; Shreya Sethi
Lawyers: Madhavi Divan; Harish Salve
Respondent: Union of India, Whatsapp Inc.; Facebook Inc.; Facebook India; Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Lawyers: Kapil Sibal; Tushar Mehta; Arvind Datar; P. Narsimha
Intervenor: Internet Freedom Foundation
Lawyers: K. V. Vishwanathan
On September 23rd 2016, a two-judge Bench of the Delhi High Court rejected the petition. The Court, however, directed WhatsApp to delete the data, until September 25th 2016, of users who choose to delete the application as well as users who choose to retain the application on the mobile phones. However, information shared via WhatsApp messenger after September 25th was allowed to be shared under the new policy. It held that it is always open to the existing users of WhatsApp who do not want to share their information to delete their accounts.
Thereafter, the petitioners filed an SLP at the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgment. The SLP was initially heard by a Division Bench and referred to a Constitution Bench on April 5th, 2017.
On July 30th 2017 the Additional Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, filed an office memorandum before the Supreme Court. He informed the Court about the constitution of Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee to examine issues surrounding data protection in India, suggest principles to govern data and draft a data protection bill. The Committee released its report and a draft law in 2018. In 2019, the Government introduced The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha. And noted that it was based on the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee draft. The Bill is currently before the Standing Committee.