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Landmark Judgement: Right to Privacy Becomes Fundamental Right of India, Rules Supreme Court

Supreme Court today ruled, the right to privacy "is protected as an intrinsic part of Article 21 that protects life and liberty."

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Supreme Court rules Right to privacy a fundamental right
The Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia
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  • Right to privacy was made a fundamental right for citizens of India
  • The decision came out unanimously by the bench of 9 judges including Chief Justice JS Khehar
  • Lawyer Prashant Bhushan noted ‘all fundamental rights come with reasonable restrictions’

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.

It is a watershed moment, remarked Sajan Poovayya, a petitioner in the case. “Whatever the state decides will be checked and tested on that basis. The powers of the state are curtailed to some extent,” he told NDTV.
Background: Government vs. Petitioners 
The government argued in the past that ‘right to privacy’ is not explicitly embodied in the Constitution as the founding fathers expelled the idea of inclusion of privacy as a fundamental liberty.
However, petitioners contended that in technologically dynamic society,  the identification of privacy as a fundamental freedom is an essential step against interference into personal space by the government and private players.

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.”


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Video- India Scraps Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

The government decriminalising homosexuality only makes the people more hopeful for the Indian youth to finally realise the potential that they have.

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Homosexuality, India
In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional. Pixabay

By Vishvi Gupta

Almost 2.5 Billion people in India, took a huge sigh of relief as the Indian government, on the Sixth of September decriminalised and scrapped the article that condones homosexuality.

The law was first put in the constitution by the Britishers, under the Buggery Act of 1533 and it has continued to exist even after almost 400 years later. The law dictated and criminalised sexual activities ‘against the order of nature’. While the britishers themselves scrapped the law in early 1980’s, the Indian youth has been haunted by this law.

India has always been a diverse country, and a very gender fluid one. Only with the invasion of outsiders, did it matter who you lay with. India’s fluidity was always seen as a savage and dirty concept.It didnt matter whether you were a man, a woman or a trans. Love, in India always won.

It is still considered a huge win for, not just the youth, but everyone in India, to finally try and ‘normalise’ the homosexual instincts and not struggle on daily basis. The biggest problem that the youth has had to face is not figuring out their sexual orientation but rather the consequences they would hence have to face in the hands of the society and conservative elders.

Anyway, Acceptance is the first step towards the onset of change, and the government decriminalising homosexuality only makes the people more hopeful for the Indian youth to finally realise the potential that they have and take more steps that will make India, the great nation it deserves to be.