Expressing serious concern over growing trend of sexual violence against women, chief justice of India HL Dattu on Wednesday said safety can’t be at the cost of their liberty.
“I would like to emphatically state in no uncertain terms, that the security of women achieved by curbing their freedom and liberty is no security at all,” the CJI said at Law Day function here.
Justice Dattu said: “We have to find systemic responses to the problem of sexual violence and not resort to measures that have an adverse impact on the agency of women.”
The CJI also raised questions over the nature and extent of hi-tech surveillance by government agencies across the globe post 9/11 and called for a debate on critical issues concerning the right to privacy within our constitutional context.
“The terms on which such surveillance can be carried out using rapid innovations in technology, the protections and recourse available to those who are placed under surveillance, the storage and deletion of information gathered through such surveillance are all matters that require extensive and rigorous national dialogue,” he said in the presence of Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, SC judges and advocates.
He said: “The trend more or less has been that our attempt to achieve national security has come coupled with a trend towards lesser accountability and transparency. Surely we need to secure the life and liberty of persons within our borders but we cannot do so by eroding protections contained within our constitution.
“This extension of executive powers is at its extreme when it comes to matters of technology-based surveillance. A significant outcome of the Edward Snowden leaks has been to bring the national security – privacy debate into sharp focus,” the CJI noted.
Justice Dattu also expressed concern over judicial delays and emphasized the need for urgent reforms in criminal justice system in India.