New Delhi, August 24, 2017: In another landmark verdict by the Supreme Court, Right to privacy was made a fundamental right for citizens of India. Supreme Court today ruled: The right to privacy "is protected as an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty."
A crowd of petitioners previously challenged the government's Aadhaar biometric project, which has taped the iris scans and fingerprints of more than half a population.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan noted 'all fundamental rights come with reasonable restrictions.' He further cautioned by saying that 'whether Aadhaar can be seen as a reasonable restriction has yet to be decided'.
The decision came out unanimously by the bench of 9 judges including Chief Justice JS Khehar. Right to privacy is a fundamental right of every citizen, the judges said, overruling two previous Supreme Court judgments.
Adhar was criticised as a design which infringes privacy. India lacking the law on privacy aggravated the problem in the past.
Contentious argument: Why protect Adhaar?
India is swiftly emerging as a digital market. Being a nation of billion mobile users, it needs laws on privacy and data protection as well.
Chances of fraudulence, misrepresentation, ID theft are increasingly becoming the real concerns.
With the growing number of transactions done over the internet, information shared on such digital platforms become imperiled to misuse and theft.
Right to privacy bearing on Section 377
In 2013, the apex Court had supported Section 377 of the IPC, an iron fisted law that criminalizes the intimate relations "against the law of nature." Today, the court's decree on Right to Privacy also brought the protection of physical intimacies.
Explaining the concept of privacy, Justice DY Chandrachud, who was part of the nine-judge bench that pronounced the verdict, said in his judgment: "Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation… Privacy also connotes a right to be left alone."