NEW DELHI: Welcoming the Supreme Court's judgement declaring the right to privacy a fundamental right under the Constitution, Congress leader P Chidambaram today said privacy was at the core of personal liberty.
The apex court's unanimous verdict, he added, comes across as a "setback" for the Centre.
"The judgement delivered today is a landmark verdict and will rank among the most important judgements delivered by the Supreme Court since the advent of the Constitution of India," the senior Congress leader told reporters.
"By virtue of the judgement of the Supreme Court, Article 21 has acquired a new magnificent," he added.
Privacy, he added, was at the core of personal liberty and "an inalienable part" of life itself.
Chidambaram also criticised the government's approach in its interpretation of Aadhaar under Article 21 -- on the protection of life and personal liberty - and alleged that its stand was "inconsistent".
The former Union minister noted that the Centre had argued before the apex court that there was no fundamental right to privacy and observed that the judgement was a "setback" to the government.
He also said Aadhaar was conceived as an "administrative tool" in order to ensure the benefits of welfare schemes reached the targeted people.
"This government's approach to Aadhaar is totally inconsistent with the previous UPA government's approach, which is why challenges have arisen."
In a landmark decision that will affect the lives of all Indians, the Supreme Court today unanimously declared that right to privacy was a fundamental right under the Constitution.
A nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar ruled that "right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution".
The ruling on the highly contentious issue was to deal with a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.