“Courts Can’t Ask Accused To Share Google Maps Location As Bail Condition”: SC

Google Maps

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that courts cannot require accused individuals to share their Google Maps location as a condition for bail, stating that it violates privacy rights.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan determined that such conditions allow the police to constantly track the movements of the accused, infringing on their privacy.

“No court can impose bail conditions that frustrate the purpose of granting bail itself,” the bench asserted. The ruling came while the court was examining whether a bail condition requiring an accused to share their Google Maps location with the investigating officer violated the right to privacy.

The Supreme Court set aside the bail condition imposed by the Delhi High Court, which required the accused to share their Google Maps location with the police. “Two things we have said. There cannot be a bail condition defeating the purpose of bail. We have said Google PIN cannot be a condition. Police cannot peep into the accused’s private life for bail,” the bench stated.

The detailed judgment will be released later in the day. This order came on an appeal against conditions imposed by the Delhi High Court in 2022, which granted interim bail to a Nigerian national, Frank Vitus, accused in a drug case. The High Court ordered the accused and a co-accused to drop a pin on Google Maps to make their location accessible to the investigating officer.

Additionally, the Delhi High Court had asked the accused to obtain an assurance from the High Commission of Nigeria that they would not leave India and would appear before the trial court. The Supreme Court emphasized that bail conditions should not defeat the purpose of granting bail.

Read More: Supreme CourtDelhi High CourtStates High CourtOther CourtsInternational

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About the Author: Meera Verma