Supreme Court declares right to privacy as Fundamental right; separate bench to decide on Aadhaar law
A separate bench will test validity of Aadhaar on the touchstone of privacy as a fundamental right and will see whether government’s various schemes of making aadhaar mandatory holds any good in law.
NEW DELHI: In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court nine-judge constitution unanimously said that privacy is a fundamental right which will protect citizens’ personal freedom from intrusions by the state.
A nine judge bench in 9:0 verdict held that privacy is a part of the right to life and liberty under Article 21 and is also protected under freedom of part 3 of the Constitution.
Pronouncing the verdict in a packed courtroom Justice J Chelameswar, reading out the verdict for the nine-judge bench said, “This right to privacy is protected under Article 21 and it is intrinsic to the Constitution,” said
Article 21 guarantees life and liberty of an individual under the constitution.
CJI Khehar said this verdict was not written by him but it was unanimous and signed one of the six judgements written in the case.
The court overruled findings in two previous verdicts namely MP Sharma and Kharak Singh case that privacy is not a fundamental right.
READ THE JUDGMENT BELOW:
The 8-judge bench judgment in 1954 in M P Sharma case ruled that privacy is not a fundamental right and is not correct in law.
This verdict will come as a blow to centre which had argued that privacy is not a fundamental right.
Now, another bench of apex court will test validity of Aadhaar on the touchstone of privacy as a fundamental right and will see whether government’s various schemes of making aadhaar mandatory holds any good in law.
The historic verdict may also have an implication on the pending section 377 which criminalises gay sex.
Meanwhile, Attorney general K K Venugopal, who had argued that right to privacy cannot be a fundamental right, welcomed the apex court decision.
The ruling came on a bunch of petitions that challenge the mandatory use of Aadhaar cards to every citizen in social welfare schemes of government.