By Shikha Sreenivas
In a rare case, the Karnataka High Court complied with a woman’s “right to be forgotten”, as she did not want her name to appear on search engines in association with digital records of the High Court of a previous case. The High Court directed its Registry that no internet search in the public domain would reflect the name of the woman, since it was her ‘right to be forgotten’.
The ‘right to be forgotten’ which has been in practice in the European Union and Argentina since 2006, is so that an individual can “determine the development of their life in an autonomous way, without being perpetually or periodically stigmatised as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past.”
The High Court said that their decision was “in line with the trend in Western countries” of having the ‘right to be forgotten’. They said, this right was to do with “sensitive cases involving women in general and highly sensitive cases involving rape or affecting the modesty and reputation of the person concerned.”
Deccan Chronicle reports that the woman’s father had approached the court to know how he could mask the woman’s name from an earlier order the High Court had passed, because his daughter feared the consequences of having her name associated with the case, since it would affect her marriage and her reputation.
She had previously filed a case against a man who she said she was not married to, and so the marriage certificate should be annulled. However, the parties arrived a compromise, and she withdrew her complaint. So the High Court quashed the case against the man.
The woman’s father asked the High Court to direct the Registrar General to wipe out the name of his daughter in their digital records, so it would not be available on search engines, like Google. The Court heard the plea and ordered that it should be the endeavour of the Registry to ensure that no internet search in the public domain should reflect the petitioner’s daughter’s name. But if a certified copy of the order is applied for, the name of the woman would still reflect properly in the copy of the order.