RTBF aka the Right to be forgotten is the right to remove personal details of a person from the internet, searches, websites, databases, or any other public platforms, so a third party cannot have access to it.
The concept was first recognized in 2014 by the European Court of Justice under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has been upheld by several courts in the United Kingdom and in Europe.
But in India, no law that specifically provides for the right to be forgotten. RTBF in India falls under the purview of an individual's right to privacy, which is governed by the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) that is yet to be passed by the Parliament since 2019. PDPB provides the user with the right to be forgotten, subject to certain conditions (such as whether the data has served the purpose for which it was collected.) In 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict.

Recently, actor Ashutosh Kaushik, who won reality TV shows Bigg Boss in 2008 and MTV Roadies 5.0, is fighting to be forgotten in the world of being famous.

In 2009, he was captured on a video by police for drink and drive. His license was suspended, and he had to pay a fine and spend a night in prison. In 2013, he was involved in an inebriated brawl.
According to him, he is now sobered up but the internet is not letting him forget about it. He approached Delhi High Court asking for related posts to be removed as a part of RTBF.

 He said- " I was a 26-year-old small-town boy in a big city like Mumbai. I didn't know how to behave. Why make me pay for those mistakes at 41".

Not only him, but many people are  also chasing the doors of the court to remove posts about them from the internet.

This week, the Delhi High Court upheld the view that the "Right to Privacy" includes the "Right to be Forgotten" and the "Right to be Left Alone". This order was passed in response to a suit filed by an unnamed Bengali actor. Her videos and photo were uploaded on the internet without her consent.

Now, the question comes, should a rape accused person has a right to withdraw the criminal records of his, or a politician who has been charged with corrupt cases? The right to be forgotten is to be balanced with the court's right as an institution of public record. 


  • Times of India news article.