Right to Privacy is a guaranteed fundamental right, says 9-member SC bench in unanimous verdict


New Delhi, 24 August(Wishav Warta): The right to privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right” at par with the right to life and liberty, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, a landmark verdict which will protect citizens’ personal freedom from intrusions by the state.

Issuing a unanimous ruling, the court also said a three-judge bench will test the validity of Aadhaar, a controversial 12-digit biometric unique identity project that the government is pushing widely but which has raised data breach and privacy concerns. Critics also say it could help the government spy on people, leading to multiple petitions in court challenging Aadhaar on the question of privacy.

The top court said the Aadhaar law will now be tested on Thursday’s right to privacy judgment.“This right to privacy is protected under Article 21 and it is intrinsic to the Constitution,” said justice J Chelameswar, reading out the verdict for the nine-judge bench. Article 21 guarantees the right to life and liberty as inviolable fundamental rights. Thursday’s verdict comes two days after the court in a landmark judgment struck down the Islamic divorce practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional.

The government had argued citizens have a right to privacy but it is not an absolute right. But petitioners in the case contended that the right to privacy is at the heart of liberty and freedom. In upholding privacy as a fundamental right, the nine-judge bench overruled earlier judgements that had said the right to privacy was not part of the Constitution.




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