In the case of S K Pavithran & Ors vs Laisy Santhosh & Ors, the Kerala HC recently held that the existence of a toddy shop in a residential area in compliance with all laws cannot be said to be an infringement to right to privacy.
Division Bench of Justices PB Suresh Kumar and CS Sudha said that disruption of public order or peace cannot be understood as synonymous with a breach of privacy. The court noted that the behaviour at the toddy shop may at the most amount to a breach of public peace but cannot be said to be an infringement of the right to privacy.
"Nuisance, breach of peace, moral concerns etc. have nothing to do with privacy, though disruption of public order, peace and tranquillity may at times lead to infringement of privacy rights. But, disruption of public order, peace and tranquillity cannot be understood as synonymous to breach of privacy rights," the Court said.
The Court, therefore, overturned a judgement by a single-Judge who had held that the existence of a toddy shop in a residential area would infringe the right to privacy of the residents in the vicinity. The court also cautioned against the expansive view to include a plethora of cases under the purview of the right to privacy.
The Division Bench was considering a batch of appeals filed by toddy-shop licensees challenging the decision of a single judge which held that renewal or grant of such licenses in residential areas should be done only after assessing the impact on the right to privacy of the residents.