The Constitution of Nepal 2015, in its Article 28, unequivocally upholds the 'right to privacy.' This fundamental right encompasses the protection of an individual's self-esteem, dignity, reputation, health, and property. However, the application and enjoyment of this right may vary when it comes to individuals holding public office, with a potentially narrower scope of privacy protection compared to the general public.
The expanding growth of information technology with its ability to gather, analyze and disseminate data has raised the sense of urgency for enactment of laws on privacy in many countries. The parliament of Nepal enacted Individual’s Right to Privacy Act (2018) to implement Article 28 of the Constitution which guarantees every person the right to privacy in relation to the person, and his residence, property, documents, records, statistics, correspondence or reputation.
Article 28 of our constitution guarantees the right to privacy, which is inviolable except according to the law. But reading the draft of Special Service Bill, one gets the impression whether ‘according to the law’ means according to what the government thinks is right. When the constitution included the term ‘according to the law’, essentially it meant according to the existing jurisprudence and rule of law, not according to the rule by law. There is a thin line between this notion and constitutional legitimacy of Special Service Bill.