Right to privacy is a fundamental right, rules Supreme Court

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that ‘Right to Privacy’ is a fundamental right.

“Right to Privacy is an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution,” ruled the Apex court’s nine judge bench unanimously.

It added that the right to privacy is intrinsic to the entire fundamental rights chapter of the Constitution.

The judgement is a blow to the Aadhaar scheme because now the government has to convince the court that taking finger prints and iris scans of citizens is not a violation of anyone’s fundamental rights.

However, this bench didn’t sit to decide the future of Aadhaar. What this means is a five-judge bench of the SC will test the validity of Aadhaar on the touchstone of privacy as a fundamental right.

The apex court’s nine-judge bench overruled previous judgments on the issue- an eight-judge bench judgment in the MP Sharma case and a six-judge bench judgment in Kharak Singh case, both of which had ruled that privacy is not a fundamental right.

The bench comprised Justices Khehar, J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, R F Nariman, A M Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, Sanjay K Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer.

Attorney general K K Venugopal, who had argued that right to privacy cannot be a fundamental right, welcomed the SC decision.

“Whatever the 9-judge bench says is the correct law,” said Venugopal to TOI.


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